Iron Ceiling Part 2 – I love Frank Lloyd Wright

So we have the idea – we have a primary drawing – now all we have to do is find someone to weld the thing up. I called these guys  – Chester’s Iron Shop. And yes, there’s a guy named Chester that runs the place. He was up for the challenge. Curiously, if you go to his website he doesn’t list iron ceilings – after this one he said no more – ever.

Ceiling iron startHere’s the start. Since this structure was 24′ long it had to be built in sections.First, the center section was installed and it is spaced off of the ceiling to slightly float below and allow for easily changing the paint color – because I’m still not sure of the color at this point.

Installing arm sectionThe two end sections were installed next – that’s Chester in the polka-dot hat.

Ceiling looking westThe other section is installed. You can see the coiled wire in the upper right hand side of this picture. All the wiring is concealed within the hollow square tubing, but as with most projects this one had it’s share of problems. One of the reasons for the ironwork was to hide the irregular ceiling seams. The center section as built was too thin to hide this seam, so  the fix was to add an additional plate – you can see the additions on the end arm pieces. Also, after all was done – there was a short in the electrical circuits – so I had to change out all the electrical – a two day job. I realize now that welders make bad electricians.

Light carriage on floorThis is what I called the ‘light carriage’ not because it’s light – because it isn’t. I used this to attach track lighting on the bottom perimeter.

Light carriage installThe light carriage is suspended from the central arms by square tubes. The wires to power the lights on the carriage are inside the left hand support tube.

Light carriage upThe whole system is bolted into the ceiling truss system, so even though this thing is pretty heavy, it’s safely hanging overhead. At this point I decided not to add any color to the circular elements in the design because it was visually busy enough. Yellow and black can you say bumble bee?

 Carriage upThe ceiling and light carriage are installed. In the foreground you can see my little cardboard mockup and the black side ceiling brackets that were fabricated to hold additional track lights. In the background you can see the aluminum truss that will be attached to the ceiling with iron brackets. I have also committed to the color – yellow it will be.

Truss upThis is a square aluminum stage truss by Global. I attached this with some custom iron brackets the width of the building which is 24 feet. You can see that the carriage has the track lights installed for testing – and everything works! Before the truss could be installed I had to open up the area where the brackets attach to the ceiling and reinforce the structure. I wanted to be able to hang just about anything from the truss.

side wall bracketsThe ceiling brackets were added to each side of the room to be able to attach additional track light fixtures about 4′ from the side walls. This will allow for more uniform light coverage in the room.

carriage side viewThis view shows the central fan called an Ar ruthiane by Matthews Fan Company. The fan is made in Brazil and is on a motor controller for variable speeds. I was able to make an extension to lower the fan height using regular electrical conduit. You can see the red element that is stained glass with recessed LED lighting.

carriage loft viewYou can see how the arm pieces are spaced from the ceiling. The yellow wall color is one that matches a color in the 4′ stained glass window of my dad. The truss will allow for a variety of attachments that will be useful when making retail displays.

Complicated? Oh, there’s more to come – we’re just getting started.

Stick around.


13 thoughts on “Iron Ceiling Part 2 – I love Frank Lloyd Wright

    • Thanks for stopping in – as I mentioned in the post – I don’t think the fabricators will ever attempt a project like this one again.

  1. Looks beautiful! I LOVE the round glass window framed by the iron work. Shame you are still curtailed on your own remodel but it’s lovely to hear about this one. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Thanks Lynda – I do have some unconventional ideas about color sometimes. But there’s more to come – it is a different kind of place, that’s for sure.

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