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Match point

October 11, 2013

I’ve mentioned more than once waiting for the right piece to come along to complete a project. Sometimes it seems almost mystical when it happens, even for a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic like myself, especially when I never expected it at all.

Wfell off cls

Several few years ago I ran across this great old Arts and Crafts ceiling fixture shade in an antique store in Ashland, Oregon. I couldn’t leave without it, and fortunately the car I’d rented had a big trunk (I bought a lot of great junk on that trip), so I brought it home, not knowing what I’d do with it. But I had the idea of making it into a small table sort of thing, figuring I’d have to have a frame constructed.

Time went by, and I never got around to doing that. I tried to sell the shade once to a vintage lighting place (they passed, dummies), and I thought about selling it online, but never got around to that, either.

Then one day I’m doing my semi-monthly pass through the Depot for Creative Reuse, and in the back room, I see part of a table frame sticking out of an unsorted pile of donations. I accost a guy on his way out and ask if I can see it. “Busy,” he mutters, “Gotta…Talk to the manager,” who of course is just disappearing into another room – bathroom or office.

So I wait…And wait…

Finally, the manager reappears and I tell him what I want. He says the stuff in the pile doesn’t go on sale until tomorrow. I look pitiful and beg: “It’s right on top.” After a pause for effect he gives in and pulls the frame out. And without hesitating – or more importantly, measuring (because I’d never gotten around to writing down the dimensions of the shade) – I grabbed the thing, ponied up, and drove home with it.

Five minutes after walking in the door, I had the shade on top of the frame. It fit perfectly. And a little paint and wiring later, the idea I’d had years before came to life, better, and stranger, than I’d ever imagined.

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