Posts Tagged ‘cafe’


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.


Caffeine & gasoline

December 12, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I was trolling online for hubcaps, looking for something to complement a motorcycle brake disc that’s been hanging around for a couple of years. I wasn’t successful, but in the process I did find some pretty tempting wheel covers. I also stumbled on a squarish midcentury-style percolator that I was very taken by. But I resisted.

Well, for awhile anyway.

But at some point I heard what I call the Click, when I realized that one of the hubcaps I’d seen echoed the shapes and finishes of the coffeepot – and then I was lost.

It was supposed to be an easy project, but I ended up having to (pain-in-the-ass-stakingly) repaint the black areas on the hubcap, since the original finish came off in the wash. On the other hand, I already had the perfect saucepan knob in my stash to turn into a finial, along with a shiny metal cup to hide the socket in.

So here’s the result.

Details in my Etsy shop, as always. Happy holidays!



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.


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 voilà!


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.


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.


In good company

November 8, 2013

Well, the show at Rebooty is up and glowing. It will be there for a several days, maybe longer. Be sure to stop in if you’re in the neighborhood. There’s a ton of upcycled fun inside!