Woodstairs.com has a complete line of Modern and Craftsman square balusters including 1 1/4″ and 1 3/4″ balusters in both round and square spindle profiles with numerous details. Of course, these spindles are an excellent choice for Mission or Craftsman style balustrades but they are often combined with wrought iron balusters to create infinite new design possibilities. Make certain to consider the size of the bottom of your handrail when selecting between 1 1/4″ and 1 3/4″ balusters because some handrails will not accommodate the larger size. We offer these balusters in numerous stock wood species.
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While the round & square balusters in this category are categorized as Craftsman, there are actually three terms that are often used to describe them. In our effort to categorize our components so they are easily found we’ve basically decided to use these terms interchangeably as they so often are in lay terms. However, we want to recognize the different styles here to help you better understand them. The categories are “Arts and Crafts”, “Craftsman” and “Mission”.
The Arts and Crafts style is the earliest in this genre, so to speak. It came about in the late 1800’s through about 1920 and flourished in England and the United States. It arose as people began toward hand-crafted artisan pieces, from local materials, and is characterized by simplicity of design. It includes elegant carvings, inlays, contrasting hues, curved and straight lines, and other features that give it that beautiful hand-crafted appearance.
Craftsman and Mission are two terms for a single architectural style. In fact, during an interview by a reporter a salesman of a large Craftsman Style furniture company pointed to a piece of furniture in their catalog and said a similar piece was found in a “Spanish Mission” and thus the term “Mission” entered our lexicon. So, what exactly does the term Craftsman (or Mission) refer to? Well, Craftsman is a style associated with heavier lines than Arts and Crafts; the lines are clean and straight, avoiding curves and they style lacks decorative ornamentation such as inlaying, carving, etc.a
It is unfortunate that the two distinct categories of “Arts & Crafts” and “Craftsman/Mission” are so often used interchangeably. This is a result of the ambiguity the terms have suffered in their present day incarnations. Because there are so few who can differentiate between the two styles, retailers simply bundle them together as one, thus detracting from the beautiful and diverse contributions each has made to our architectural heritage.
You will find our unfinished square balusters at WoodStairs.com, under the category “Craftsman”. For the most part this is true. Although they are no longer hand-crafted from locally grown lumber, they have the heavier straight lines reminiscent of this architectural style. There are a few deviations, but to simplify our categories we’ve included a few that have flutes, and other details that would not be consistent with this design. If pure “Craftsman” is what you are after avoid those profiles with the extra details that are more “Arts and Crafts”.