Hammerworks & Hearth-Glo Lighting

Photo of making lamps for the Boston Museum
Welding lamps for the Boston Museum

If you are building a museum in Boston in 2012 to tell the story of the Boston Tea Party of 1773, and you need lighting, lots of it, and authenticity in every detail is paramount to maintain the colonial ambiance, where do you go to find lanterns that look like the real thing yet function per all the modern lighting specifications?

You call Hammerworks & Hearth-glo Lighting in Worcester, Massachusetts, creators of hand-crafted period lighting since 1979. Owned by Tom Sauriol and Mark Rocheford, both Worcester natives, Hammerworks specializes in colonial-era lighting, primarily lanterns, wall sconces, and post lamps. All are solid copper or solid brass, and each is made by hand.

Photo of the making of lamps for the Boston Museum
Creating textures in the metal to create lamps

Their partnership is unique. Tom is a sheet metal mechanic with the knowledge of how to create patterns to enable a large sheet of solid brass or solid copper to cut, crimped, worked and welded into the selected design. Mark is a blacksmith, whose ancient craft, essential to colonial lives, is now considered an art form. With his understanding of the properties of metals – how they can be worked and what they are capable of doing – Mark works his magic to shape the metal in just the right way to create Hammerworks’ authentic-looking replicas.

It all started with a copper post lamp

Photo of lamp made for the Boston Tea Party
Lamp made for the Boston Tea Party

It’s a small shop. Including Tom and Mark, there are at most, eight craftsmen. Since each piece is handmade, their work is labor-intensive. For their niche market, they could not be in a better place. New England is filled with charming colonial-era towns, many of which have initiated restoration efforts in historical districts, where colonial post lamps are essential.

Their copper post lamps light the streets in the restored historic district of the Village of New Bedford, the center of whaling in colonial times. And, while their period lighting is found throughout New England, it is also in historic restorations in the Walnutport, PA canal; the Greenbriar Hotel in West Virginia; and in the historic districts in Geneva, Illinois and New Albany, Ohio. Hammerworks & Hearth-glo Lighting also makes lighting for new homes, historic home restorations, clubhouses, marinas, restaurants, and retail stores. Their period lighting contributed to the atmosphere of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, and to Disney Parks in Florida, California, and Japan. At Tommy Bahama stores throughout the country, their custom Pierced Brass wall lights are a signature entrance.

Boy do they belong here!

Photo of lamp replicating a colonnial lamp
Lamp replicating a colonnial lamp

At the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, 70 large, all-copper Garrison lanterns enhance the colonial atmosphere. The Garrison design is a replica of authentic lanterns Tom and Mark saw in a Garrison-style home, popular in colonial New England. The soft light and authentic design of Garrison lanterns along walkways and around the museum work seamlessly with all the other details to create the ambiance of Boston in 1773. Smaller, sturdy Concord lanterns are strategically placed on the remarkable, full-size replica ships, the merchant vessel Eleanor and whaling ship Beaver, key components of the museum experience.

The overall effect of the lighting around the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum elicits the exact response Hammerworks strives to achieve: “Boy to they belong here!”