A massive steel chandelier for the Orchard Kitchen barn is one of the latest projects from Tim Leonard’s Heavy Metal workshop on Saratoga Road.
“It’s an outrageous piece of work,” said Leonard, describing the circular fixture with three tiers graduating from nine feet to five feet. “It’s an amazing collaboration with Vincent (Nattress) and his wife Tyla, the owners of Orchard.”
Leonard said Nattress first presented a sketch of the project last November. The two men, and others, then modeled the project, full size, on paper spread over several tables in the barn.
“I laid out the design on grid paper to get the proper scale,” said Nattress. “It’s such a huge thing. I wanted it to have impact without being overwhelming.”
In addition to the rings, the chandelier features a design of four compass points. A weathervane on the roof will move a pointer inside the light fixture to show the wind direction.
“I thought of the weathervane about eight years ago,” said Nattress. “It must have come from my imagination because I couldn’t find any other examples.”
A new, taller cupola accommodates the weathervane. The second cupola matches the original already on the barn.
As he puts the chandelier together, craftsman Brendan McHugh proudly asks shop visitors if they’d like to see the project he has suspended on chains from the roof. Two other members of Leonard’s crew, Ryan Coffey and A.J. — Arthur Harbison Jr. — also work on the project. Ben and Todd Brager of Monarch Metal Works near Freeland used a plasma cutting process to make the rings and connecting pieces.
According to Leonard, the “unique eclectic design” will use standard-sized lamp bulbs. Nattress said the bulbs will feature exposed filaments alluding to the origins of the 100-year-old hay barn on the property along Bayview Road.
“It’s really a humongous fixture that weighs about 300 pounds,” said Leonard. “We’ll use scaffold towers for support to hang it from three points in the rafters. It’s a grand feature and will really make the room pop.”
The Nattresses bought the property in 2011 and spent four years getting ready to open the intimate fine dining restaurant which operates on a limited schedule. Inspiration for the chandelier came from the original steel pot rack that Leonard built for the kitchen.
Nattress said the county dates the historically registered barn from 1926, but it’s more likely the Grimm family built the structure in 1914, possibly even before the farmhouse.
“I grew up on a farm in Coupeville. My wife and I see ourselves as stewards of the property,” said Nattress. “We’ve installed a new foundation, rewired, added windows and improved structural stability. The light fixture had to make sense for an historic farm.”
Nattress said he’s not expanding the capacity or schedule for the restaurant. “We’re always striving to be better, not to have more.” He said the limit is 40 seats, three or four nights a week depending on the season.