Archive for the ‘Colanders’ Category

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Tempus fidget

March 25, 2017

Time flies, whatever you’re doing, or not doing.

I haven’t posted in months, but I have been making – or I was for awhile, before I got busy with other stuff. And I’m still at an impasse about how worthwhile it is to keep doing the same thing. I might need a new playground. Or maybe just a time-out. Or perhaps I’m waiting for a sign.

Sigh.

Regardless, I thought I’d at post some photos of my last few projects, for anyone as in need of distraction as I am.

Take one stand mixer, gut and clean it. Reassemble with a three-way touch switch and a cocktail shaker shade. Doubles as a charging station!

What You Will stand mixer desk lamp


Marry two colanders, a thermos, a percolator bubbler, other bits and bobs: Presto shadow!

dot.bot tabletop colander shadow lantern


Make a metal flower from gooseneck lamp parts and a salad mold. Use it to interrogate the cat.

Grandiflora Sasquatch gooseneck desk lamp


Details at 4flighting.etsy.com.

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Inner resources

July 25, 2016

It seems like a shockingly long time since I posted here. I was busy with other things for awhile there, but really I just haven’t felt like I had anything much to say. I’ve been a bit bored, or as John Berryman’s (or Henry’s) mother would have it, lacking in “Inner Resources.”*

Still, I’ve kept up the lamp making, in between and around. But all the new ones are variations to one degree or another on old projects. Which doesn’t mean they haven’t been enjoyable – just not thrilling the way coming up with something really new is.

And that’s a dilemma. As one gets better at a thing, I think, it gets harder to find a challenge; the risks get less risky. So the glow that goes with finishing a piece gets dimmer and shorter lived.

I suppose that’s why people carp about “process” being the important thing. But to me that always sounds like glorifying drudgery. Competence is one thing. Routine is another: inevitable, but deadly. Essentially entropy.

I don’t know where I’m going here. I’d like to think there’s something on the far side of this void, or fog, or wall, but I can’t make anything out from the spot where I’m standing.

So on that cheery note, here’s what I’ve made over the past couple of months.

Not Just a Cigar Box accent lamp with LED bulb

Not Just a Cigar Box accent lamp with LED bulb

*Dream Song 14, one of my all-time favorite poems.

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A tale of two whimsies

November 22, 2015

Back when I was taking writing classes, I had a teacher who would say about a piece he felt wasn’t quite working, “Leave it on the desk.”

It was good advice – not that I always took it. But I find it applies to making lamps at least as much as to poetry. I’ve been working on a couple of lamps for a few weeks now – not because they’re so complicated as just that they’ve been a bit stubborn.

This first one came together fairly easily, except that the piece I’d originally intended to use as a shade – a domed but shallow lid from something or other – just didn’t work with the cocktail pitcher base. So I went looking online for an alternative, found one, bought it, and made a shade of it. And then the lamp squatted on my dining table, making me wince inside every time I looked at it.

Finally, last weekend I found a stainless steel colander at my local Goodwill, and after a bit of dithering, got it, reasoning that I’d eventually use it for something. A few days later I found the time to drill out the center hole, and tried it on the lamp…and OMG the relief. It worked so much better in every way.

The other one was less problematic, but still kind of balky. I’d bought a nice Ford hubcap earlier this year, and when I stumbled on a listing for a space-age Presto percolator, I knew it was just the thing. So I bought it, only to have my payment returned immediately: the seller had already sold it but hadn’t taken the Etsy listing down. So I went to eBay, reasoning that there had to be more of them.

And there were. I chose one, but when it arrived a few days later, one of the plastic feet had been smashed to bits in transit. The coffee pot still stood up though, so I figured I could repair the foot well enough, and that would be easier than hassling with a return.

So, Superglue and tweezers, and a Sharpie for touchups, and it worked. Setting the bubbler in the hubcap took awhile, mostly because my cheap hole-saw attachment was worn to nubs. Wiring the switch was a little trickier than I’d anticipated, due to tight spacing, but not too bad. No, what fought me most was getting the shade to sit straight. Sigh. But in the end all was well.

Ford Presto coffee pot lamp

Ford Presto coffee pot lamp

Both Ford and Mimsie are available for adoption in my Etsy shop. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Chrome is where the heart is

May 1, 2015

Let’s face it – humans are just big, fleshy magpies. We love shiny stuff: gold, diamonds, flashy cars, fancy watches, movie stars. The glossier and glitzier, the better.

Rosie in Couture - chrome coffeemaker lamp with stainless steel shade

Rosie in Couture – chrome coffeemaker lamp with stainless steel shade

So why should lamps be different? Why are so many lamps understated? Why are they so afraid (as a friend put it) to say, “Look at Me. I’m a Lamp!”

I’ve found the shiny ones tend to sell faster than the more modest ones. So I’m never worried when I find a chrome appliance that it’s going to be hanging around forever. Nope. They find a home soon.

This means, if you know someone who’s looking for a stellar statement for their bedroom, desk, or foyer – or if you are that someone – grab this gewgaw while you can. You may not get another chance (or not until the next gleaming darling comes my way).

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Downtime roundup

March 4, 2015

It’s been awhile since I’ve made anything new, and that’s starting to wear away at me. Thankfully, I’ve been acquiring many new things to play with, as well as a slew of parts, so I should start cranking away again soon.

Coming attractions:

Note that links are to similar examples, not the things themselves.

In addition to shopping, I recently did an interview with the Krrb blog. I now have pieces at two shops in Oakland: Lost & Found and SwapShop. And after six years on Etsy (already?!), I’ve sold well over 100 lamps, there and elsewhere.

Finally, I’m looking forward to having lamps again this year at the Albany Film Fest Gala, in its new location at Sam’s Log Cabin.

And now I’ll confess to a fib I committed above: I made a simple colander light for a customer just last weekend.

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Roundabout

September 8, 2014

Recently, browsing on Etsy in an idle moment, I saw this fabulously globular coffeepot and had to have it. And though I’m sure there were dimensions in the listing, I had no idea how really big it was until it arrived. All by itself it was taller than most of my table lamps.

And then there was the issue of a shade. I’d thought it would go with a star colander I have. But no, that turned out to be dismayingly small, proportionally. So disappointing.

Then I remembered the restaurant kitchen colander I’d found at a garage sale quite awhile ago, which had been hanging on the back of my workshop door ever since – except when from time to time (Clang! Shit!) it fell off.

Miraculously, the big colander and coffeepot took to one another. And once I’d cleaned up the parts, drilled out the rivets holding the handles on, and made a few more necessary/decorative holes here and there, a big ol’ lamp was born.

S'no Snowman table lamp

S’no Snowman table lamp

Available, as usual, in my Etsy shop – at least for the time being.

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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.