Posts Tagged ‘off beat’

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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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Obsessonomics

November 19, 2016

Sometimes an idea gets so firmly ahold of me that it drags me down a pricey rabbit hole, kicking and screaming the whole way.

In the beginning it seems harmless, a modest acquisition that shows promise. But then it starts to make demands. It’s like adopting a rescue dog that’s so cute and friendly you can’t resist, but it’s not young. So there are vet bills and meds, and pretty soon you’re thinking, What was I thinking?

But you love it, so on you go.

This project started with a pair of jackstands from an estate sale. Then I got the idea in my head that they had to have Volkswagen hubcap shades. I found a pair on eBay, for not too much (as hubcaps go), but I could tell they weren’t in the greatest shape. I thought I’d go rustic. But once they arrived I just couldn’t do it. They were less rusty than crusty.

So things sat.

Eventually, I decided to paint both stands and shades, which meant getting the hubcaps sandblasted. And that meant venturing – twice – into the wilds of San Leandro (though the folks at Myers couldn’t have been nicer) and parting with a chunk of change. Then filling the pits and low spots. Then sanding the filler. Then priming and painting.

In the meantime, the shades wanted accessories of their own: high-end acorn nut finials and teeny VW bugs for pull-chain ornaments. And then, when I thought I was finished, I realized I really needed some way to keep the legs from scratching the tabletop. Trying different things took another couple of weeks.

But in the end they got done.

Learn more about the Roboto Ronin in my Etsy shop.

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Never say never

May 1, 2016

At one time, I swore I’d never make a coffeepot lamp with a conventional shade – because they are always boring. But you know the minute you start making rules, the universe finds a way to trick you into breaking them.

I found a beautiful ornate chrome coffee urn, with red lucite handles and little curvy black feet that made it float just above the tabletop. It was like a 3D version of a Ukiyo-e print. The trouble was none of my usual shade strategies worked with it. All the metal pieces I had were just wrong, and I couldn’t think of anything I’d ever seen that would do any better.

And then, a glimmer. I remembered a lovely fabric shade I’d bought awhile back at the garage sale of a former lamp maker. It was unused, and of a quality you seldom see anymore. And it was a precisely perfect shape and size for the urn.

One emergency harp order later, and it was a fait accompli.

Available in my Etsy shop, or contact me for details.

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Hard drives’ night

October 17, 2015

Some weeks back, a gentleman contacted me through this website with an unusual request. He had a couple of computer hard drives, circa 1980s, that he wanted made into a lamp.

He had no ideas for the design, and very little in the way of requirements, so I pretty much had free rein—something I tend to struggle with. But I was coming up on one of those birthdays that cause one to stop and tally things up, and admit to one’s shortfalls. So I needed the distraction of a challenge.

Of course, it turned out a bit more than I’d bargained for.

Ordinarily, the object that is the jumping off point for a project largely dictates the rest of the form. But the drives, when disassembled, offered a plethora of choices with no clear direction—cases and circuit boards, mirror-finish metal platters, spindles and read/write heads, along with other assorted bits and pieces—none of which seemed to speak to one another, at least in lamp terms.

After toying for over a week with the notion of a box with a light inside and sides made (somehow) of platters and boards (but never really falling in love with the idea), one evening I fell asleep imagining a tower of platters, floating around a glowing tube. And the next morning I awoke with an idea of how it might be done.

Measurements and much online window shopping followed, until I came up with what seemed like a viable plan. Although I wasn’t sure it would work, I decided to take the chance that I could figure something out if my original scheme failed.

It almost did, too.

The fit of the parts was much more restrictive than I typically deal with, and the materials were ones I had no experience with. Also, most of the time connections in lamps can be undone and redone as needed. But for this, I had only once chance to get it right—and once I started I had to continue. So it was nerve-wracking enough already. Then when the day came to construct the “shade,” the temperature was in the 90s. So there I was, in my kitchen, improvising on the fly when method A didn’t work, swinging a hammer, bleeding from an injury I still don’t know how I got, swearing and sweating like a sailor. Talk about black moods.

In the end though, it came out all right. I got to make something completely different. My customer thinks it’s “awesome.” And the way it plays with light is a magic trick I hadn’t anticipated at all.

Seagate Tower hard drive lamp

Seagate Tower hard drive lamp


Want something custom made? Drop me a line.

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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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Standing out from the herd

May 21, 2015

I’ve built enough lamps now that inevitably I’m repeating myself. New ideas are getting harder to come by. Case in point: A year or so ago I made a pair of jackstand-and-hubcap lamps I called War of the Worlds.

War of the Worlds jackstand and hubcap table lamps

War of the Worlds jackstand and hubcap table lamps

They sold pretty quickly, so when I found another jackstand recently, I snapped it up. I didn’t want to just recreate the exact same lamp (besides, there’s a bunch of similar ones for sale on Etsy now), so I spent a few days perusing the many flavors of hubcaps available on eBay – a lot of them yummy but too pricey, or too small, or otherwise wrong.

Finally I found a pair of ’60s Mustang hubcaps with nice scalloped cutouts around the edge, for a reasonable price. I knew the shallower shape would fit the S-arm cluster I had salvaged from a lamp my friend Becca gave me, and I could figure the rest out when the package arrived.

So now, a few months later I have. I kept the original black-and-red color scheme of the jackstand, but sanded and repainted it to look sharp – the red is more delicious than the photos can convey. And the lines of the hubcap are a good match for those of the stand. I think it’s a lot of fun, and I’m hoping it will find its way to the desk of someone who likes it as much as I do.

Mid

Available for now in my Etsy shop, or contact me directly.

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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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