Shadowcasters are hand-cut metal lanterns, intended to hold a candle or oil lamp. In a darkened room, they cast flickering shadows on the ceiling and walls. They come in a wide variety of sizes, from 2 to twenty inches tall. Some are round, some are square or rectangular. Many have dancing figures around them, some have trees or scenes from books, mythology, or imagination. Lanterns can be custom made to practically any dimensions and subject matter. They are made by Pris Sears, who has been working with metal for more than 10 years. She uses an oxy-acetylene torch and recycled materials for Shadowcasters. If you like them, you might also be interested in her metal masks and multimedia sculpture. Examples of lanterns and masks can be seen at the Cellar restaurant and Steppin' Out Festival in Blacksburg, Virginia and Kindred Spirit gift shop and Colley Cantina restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia. Some thumbnails below lead to bigger pictures, use your back button to return. Inquiries are welcome for existing or custom work. (e-mail

Bell shaped lanterns Bells
This is the first type of lantern Pris learned to make. A welding teacher in Dublin, Virginia, showed her how to make these by making many vertical slits in a can and hand bending the can afterwards. Pris once contracted a large set of these type lanterns for the 'Tex-Mex' restaurant in Alexandria, VA. They can be varied by leaving solid strips in the tops and bottoms to cut designs such as cactus or waves into, and by curving and angling the vertical cuts. Unless asked to, she doesn't make many of these.

A large lantern depicting a crane family. Crane
This lantern is about a foot square. In the picture, it is on display at the Steppin' Out Festival in Blacksburg, VA. It depicts a crane standing on one spindly leg, with the other folded up. It is standing over a nest with three baby cranes, and is surrounded by cattails. There is a dragonfly detail. The material was a metal can that once contained cashews, which was gotten from Annie Kay's Health Food store in Blacksburg. Pris still has this lantern, it is the only one like it she has made.

The Bone and Sickle Dance
A large lantern, follow link for more pictures and somewhat of an explanation.

A detail of the Diana lantern. Diana, Goddess of the Hunt
This picture shows a detail from a lantern that is about 18 inches high and six inches square. It was made from a metal box that arc-welding rods are shipped in. Diana's hair flows out behind her, she carries a staff in one hand and a bow in the other. The bow's string is made of copper wire. A dog dances at her feet. This lantern is unique and has been sold.

The Eve lantern. Eve and the Snake
Eve is a lantern of the same dimensions and materials as Diana. She is standing under a tree bearing many apples. There is a snake wrapped around a branch above her head and she is reaching up towards him. This lantern was also unique and is not available. There are several more pictures of Eve, follow the link above.

A detail of the 

gargoyle lantern.Gargoyle
The gargoyle sits on a rooftop with his head in his hands. A city skyline, with antennae and satellite dishes, is visible behind him. He has been sold.

A view of a collection of lit lanterns Steppin' Out
This picture is a collection of Shadowcasters at the Steppin' Out festival, which is held on the first weekend in August in Blacksburg, Virginia. The picture shows some of the shadow effects of the lanterns.

A UFO kidnapping a cowA UFO kidnapping a cow
UFO Cow-napping
This is a silly lantern that depicts a UFO sucking a surprised cow up into the sky. There is another cow on the ground looking on in wonder, and a barn, silo, and tree in the background. Unique, vaguely based on the urban legend of cattle mutilation, it has been sold.

(C) Pris Sears 2000