Guiding Lights

Seeing the Light

Lantern Masters Happily Takes On Lighting Challenges

By Kathy Bryant
Photography by Lantern Masters, Inc.

“We enjoy working with clients on a personal level,” says Lantern Masters, Inc. owner, Jackie Olesker as Sharyn, her daughter and partner, nods in agreement. The family business includes husband and wife team, Jackie and Stuart Olesker along with daughter, Sharyn Olesker. They have been designing lanterns, chandeliers, sconces, pendants and custom lighting for architects, designers and their clients for almost four decades. A natural fit for Stuart, combining his engineering background and an appreciation for architectural elements, he entered into the world of lighting manufacturing and designing decorative lighting.

Swiss born architect Le Corbusier described a building “as a receptacle for light and sun”, seeing the value of light in modern architecture for creating emotional reactions. He knew that correct lighting creates a pleasant psychological feeling for a viewer while it also serves as a practical purpose of casting light on a space. Still holding true today Lantern Masters achieves both form and functionality. Many of their lighting designs are works of art and like a fine piece of jewelry complement the space that it occupies.

As would be expected, Lantern Masters has had some interesting challenges over the years. A case in point is their “Hyperion” lantern. Their clients drove daily across several of the old Los Angeles bridges and fell in love with the lanterns on them. In order to capture the client’s vision, Stu and Jackie visited many of these old bridges and photographed the lighting in order to pick up on some of the key elements. Choosing details that best suited the new home’s Old World architecture they created the perfect lantern. And this was before digital cameras!

As with any new design, the first part of the challenge “IS” the design, the next challenge is how to bring the design to fruition? What materials should be used? Should we forge the lantern, chandelier or sconce? Should we form the fixture using sheet metal or cast it, or a combination of several manufacturing techniques? Whatever manufacturing method chosen, the quality of fine craftsmanship is always present in every Lantern Masters fixture.

Another lighting challenge is how do you create the right lighting for a very specific space? Lantern Masters tackles each project uniquely so their clients get exactly what they want. Another case in point was a Lake Sherwood couple with a 2-story entry with an octagonal 2nd floor landing. A chandelier on the 2nd floor didn’t provide lighting for the 1st floor and if the chandelier dropped into the area below the landing there would not be enough light for the 2nd floor and all you would be able to see was chain. The couple wanted to see decorative lighting anywhere they stood. The solution was a 2-part rock crystal chandelier designed to fit into each space yet connected to only 1 junction box. This needed to be engineered as the upper chandelier was also holding the weight of the lower chandelier. These are only a few of the challenges Lantern Masters has encountered over the years.

Lantern Masters office/studio is in Westlake Village, Ca. With over 850 light fixture samples, and ornamentation to help you to create and/or collaborate on the next Lantern Masters lighting design, this is a must visit for their clientele. Loving what they do, Jackie, Stuart and Sharyn are ready to take on your next project.

Contact them at 818.706.1990 or -