Posts Tagged ‘shadow’

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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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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

Tardisque

Tardisque

Visit 4f Lighting on Etsy for details.

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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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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.

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Goes around, comes around

July 29, 2014

A couple of months ago I was dropping off a load of stuff at Urban Ore. Over to one side of the donation station was this big, rusty, intriguing cylindrical thing with holes in the sides.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“A washing machine drum. It just came in. It was used as a fire pit.”

“Can I buy it?”

Yes, I could.

When I got it home, I stuck it on the back deck, planning to clean it up and make it into a pendant light. But when my friend Ami saw it, she said it would also make a good floor lamp. I said, “Yes, but…no,” and thought that was that.

Of course, it wasn’t.

Wasting time on eBay a few weeks later, I stumbled on a vintage wood tripod that was a bit battered (though well repaired), and not well photographed, so it wasn’t drawing a lot of bids. I took the plunge, and won. And when it arrived I realized it was the perfect partner for my washer drum.

The tripod had been retrofitted with a mismatched camera mount, which came off to reveal a beautiful aged brass spider that matches the extra-large brass knobs used to adjust the legs.

The handle from a fireplace tool set I bought recently, plus other bits and pieces from my stash and a few new parts, and I had what I needed to build the lamp.

I figure this is the third incarnation for the major components, so I call it Life After Afterlife.

Update: I could have sold a half-dozen of these if I’d had them, so if you have an old washer machine drum you’ve used as a fire pit, or a wood tripod you want to offload, please do let me know.

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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.