Archive for the ‘Sconces’ Category


Generosity & regeneration

October 2, 2016

I’ve been working lately with things people have given me, some of which I’ve had for quite some time. This led me to thinking about the words gratis and gratitude.

Oddly, it seems these have different Latin roots (though I’m no linguist, so I’m not exactly sure how all this works). Gratis comes from gratia, meaning grace or kindness, whereas gratitude comes from gratus: thankful. Interestingly, according to Google both words saw a steady fall in usage from 1800 to 2000, but a slight gain since then. For extra credit, you can speculate about what that says about contemporary society, and if there’s any connection to the rise in popularity of zombies.

Which brains brings me obliquely to the topic of resurrection – that is, upcycling. The first project marries a wine crate donated a few years back by a then-neighbor with radiator screen my brother salvaged from work. The other one uses more of the same screen inside napkin dispensers my friend Ami gave me. These also sat on a shelf for years, waiting for me to figure out how to use them.

So I give you, with gratitude for the kindness of friends and family, a little grace and silliness.

St. Benziger's Relic

St. Benziger’s Relic



Visit 4f Lighting on Etsy for details.


Brass band

March 13, 2016

For no particular reason I’m aware of, last year I picked up a lot of brass objects. So, gradually, I’ve been transforming them into lamps of various kinds. Here are the most recent.

As always, they are available in my Etsy shop.


Outside the box

January 5, 2014

Time was, every kitchen had a breadbox. They persisted even after bread came sliced and packaged in plastic. But then…poof!…they were gone.

Perhaps it was just that kitchens got smaller for awhile there, or that counter space was needed for microwaves and Cuisinarts, Foreman grills and panini presses. By the time carbs became déclassé, the breadbox was for practical purposes extinct. But you can still find them around.

I stumbled on an elegant, Airstream-like aluminum model at Thrift Town a few years back, and, well, the usual story: It’s been collecting dust in my basement while I figured out how to illuminate it.

I realized early on that it would need to have many holes drilled in it, and that alone was enough to deter me for quite awhile. And then there was the question of the word BREAD embossed in the front. Could I just ignore the gauntlet it threw at me?

Eventually, one online search turned up a suitable quote (from playwright Jean Anouilh), while another gave me a dotted font to help with sizing the lettering and spacing the holes. I found a suitable LED kit on Amazon. But still it took another couple of months before I could face the challenge.

At last though, needing some distraction from the holidays and accompanying irritations (head cold, stolen car), I dug in and drilled, and after a few days, accomplished this.

And here it is in action.

For dimensions etc., visit my Etsy shop.


Pair-shaped, part II

December 4, 2013

At an estate sale in early October, I found (along with parts to complete The Rake’s Progress), two three-piece sets of funky old graters: one trio (Wonder) aged to a dark, warm gray; the other (Rapid) unevenly silver. I was intrigued; they whispered sconces to me, but didn’t offer any details. It was enough. I brought them home.

I first thought of making six small wall lamps, but then thought perhaps larger ones would be more appealing. A pair then, one light, one dark. But lining them up side by side, like with like, I didn’t like what I saw. What to do?

Eventually I decided to mix and match, and flipped the orientation of the mismatched center grater to make the irregularity more obviously intentional. Then it was just a matter of figuring out how to attach the graters to each other and to the wood backplate. And since this was an entirely new design for me, the answers weren’t immediately obvious.

In the end, they came together, though I’m still debating whether I should just paint the graters to give a uniform finish. I’d love to hear what you think.

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For more information, visit my Etsy shop.


Pair-shaped, part I

November 24, 2013

For obscure reasons, I’m currently making lamps in pairs. And in keeping with my general inability to settle on any one thing, the first two pairs are pretty and shiny, while the others in the hopper work the opposite end of the spectrum.

I’m also really into the sconces thing now. Stay tuned.

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Details are available in my Etsy shop.