Posts Tagged ‘LED’


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.


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.


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.


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.


Frappé me this, Batman

April 25, 2013

Here’s a new take on the blender lamp concept. It uses a color-changing LED (sorry, no video this time), or you can swap in a clear, antique-style bulb.

It’s a little bit spaceship, a little bit mad scientist, and a whole lot of fun. I call it The Lamp with Two Brains. Visit my Etsy shop for details.