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Everything but the oink

May 31, 2014

The last few days, as I was putting together three Roswells for a restaurant client, I found myself once again considering how the many bits and pieces I’ve collected go into my lamps.

Roswell II extra-large colander pendant

Roswell II extra-large colander pendant

Of course, there are the physical parts, like the saucepan lids and knobs and bits of old fixtures I’ve scavenged and squirreled away for no particular purpose.

And there’s other literal stuff: My dad’s old knife steel I repurposed as a reamer (it’s the same diameter as 3/8″ lamp pipe), the compass and acrylic triangles from the college drafting classes I so loathed, a wrench an old boyfriend bought for adjusting the exercise bike he insisted we needed (and then stuck me with when he moved out).

The list goes on.

Also though, there are other things, intangibles. Fragments of math and geometry that, surprisingly, finally turn out to be useful. Trivia about everything from metalwork to house painting to packing. Thirty years of learning what makes writing work … You get the drift.

And finally something new it seems I’ve mostly learned just from making lamps: Patience. Knowing when to stop, or at least pause. When not to push forward but to wait, take a break, set the work aside until a better solution presents itself.

Some people, I think, know this instinctively. But it goes against my nature, and has thus taken a very long time to learn. I have to wonder what difference it would have made to have had it earlier.

But some things one can never know.

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