Posts Tagged ‘aluminum’

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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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Deja vu(ish)

July 12, 2015

So far, it’s been a summer of repeats, more or less. I built a new shop for the launch of Upcycle Post’s Marketplace, and I made a new heater light that marries the styles of two previous ones: the compact shape of one with the color changing properties of the other.



And then…well, I guess I got bored. Because one day when I was supposed to be doing something else, I wandered into my workshop and started stacking. I had a couple of small aluminium coffeepots, both of them incomplete, and though they didn’t match in any way other than size and material, I put the smaller atop the larger, and then just kept going, without resorting to anything you might call logic.

After a few discards and addenda, I found something that seemed to work. So I assembled it, then took it apart a couple of times for tweaks, added some finishing touches, and (drumroll, please) attained this:

The Towering Cafferno

The Towering Cafferno

Yeah, I know. It makes no sense. And yet it kind of does, if you don’t think too hard about it.

Details on both these lamps can be found in my Etsy shop or on Upcycle Post, if you’d like to check out the new venue.

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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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I say coffee; you say kaffee

June 15, 2014

Here’s another example of how the same idea can play out in radically different ways, simply because the objects one is working with demand to be treated as individuals.

The first is a cylindrical coffeepot I found at an estate sale. though the shape isn’t that interesting, it’s a good size and has nice linear art deco details. And it happened to “match” an aluminum cake cover I’d had on the shelf for awhile. Add a saucepan lid and a small dessert mold, and presto: lamp.

The second started with the shade. I’d acquired a large fluted mold (somewhere) that I wanted to pair with the ridiculously oversize, rather phallic bubbler I so had to have that I paid way too much for the very small, very beat-up coffeepot it went on. Which left me with the problem of the base.

Granted, it wasn’t a big problem: I knew the kind of coffeepot that would complement it, I just wasn’t finding it. Finally I resorted to eBay. Et voilĂ !

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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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Black stars and falling leaves

May 7, 2014

I read somewhere recently that black light fixtures and shades were all the rage, and I’d had a couple of people ask me to make some aluminum shades black, so I thought I’d try building something along those lines from scratch.

Since I’d accumulated quite a few star colanders, this is what I came up with.

On the flipside, someone came into (the now-defunct) Rebooty awhile back with a bridge lamp she wanted me to do something with, on a limited budget. I had a shade I’d picked up from a garage sale that happened to fit, along with a lot of old sheet music left over from other projects, so I recovered it.

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I’m really happy with the way it came out – the depth and movement and warmth of it. I hope the customer likes it too…if I can ever get ahold of her. And if not, I have a very solid bridge lamp if anyone is interested.