Rainbow Lantern

Rainbow Lantern

All of the big high street and online retailers sell lanterns for tea-lights, candles or LEDs. These seem to be marketed equally for outdoor use (evenings in the garden dining al fresco, parties, weddings and so on) and indoor use (especially in bathrooms!). These are also useful on board a boat where mains electricity may be unavailable and it’s important to eke out the onboard batteries.

Most of the lanterns you can buy are a bit dull, though, so I decided to see what I could do to liven them up.

I started with one like this, from a well-known high street outlet who sell them in all sizes from ‘single tea-light’ up to something you could use as a shower cubicle for a medium sized dog.

I went for a small one and started by carefully removing the plain glass, held in place with small metal clips.

After a bit of measuring up, I used glass from the Wissmach range of cathedral glass to lay out a set of four new panels.

The smaller panel of the four is for the door. It’s possible to reduce the number of cuts necessary (and reduce wasting glass) with a bit of careful planning. I also wanted to maintain a sense of continuity from one panel to the next.

After cutting a lot of foiling was required and here are the panels ready for soldering up. You can see the lovely texture in this glass in this picture.

Once they were soldered up, cleaned and polished, I reassembled the lantern and here’s the finished article. It looks fine with a candle but the beauty of all of the colours comes out even better with a string of tiny LEDs.

Overall, a very pleasing project, which then got me thinking about other lanterns that could be upgraded in the same way …

Patrick Carmichael

Experiments in stained glass and other media.

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