Most professional woodworkers specialize in furniture or cabinetry, but Charles Lutkus of Dallas, Texas, chose an often overlooked area—lighting.

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This Art Deco writing desk rnby Charles Lutkus incorporates rnoverhead lighting with twornpull-operated fixtures. It sells forrn$5,100. His tabletop torchu00e8re, rnbears a $1,500 price tag.

Most professional woodworkers specialize in furniture or cabinetry, but Charles Lutkus of Dallas, Texas, chose an often overlooked area—lighting. His line includes floor and desk lamps, wall and ceiling fixtures, and a desk that features built-in overhead lighting. All are executed in the Arts and Crafts or Art Deco styles and made from cherry because of its strength, fine end grain, and rich color.

In addition, many of Charles' creations employ art glass to complement the wood, and shades. Dowels and biscuits hold parts together, along with brass hardware. Charles finishes his pieces with clear satin urethane that shows off the cherry while cutting back on distracting glare from the light source.

Selecting lighting as his forte did not come without its challenges. "Dealing with the numerous standards and restrictions laid down by Underwriters' Laboratories proved to be a major hassle, as well as costly," says Charles. "When I started in 1996, the standards were not friendly to wooden light designs. They've since improved. On top of that, I pay $2,000 each year to be registered and updated on the lighting standard changes. Then, every time I create a new design, inspectors pay me a visit and charge an additional $100 to look it over. Develop 10 designs over one year, and the costs add up." For more about Charles' unique work, call 972/231-9865 and ask for a brochure.