Posts Tagged ‘steampunk’


When centuries collide

August 19, 2017

Since lamp sales have slowed to a trickle, and I still have lots of inventory, I’ve had to scale back to just the occasional custom order. So to fill the void, I embarked on a new kind of upcycling project – new for me, that is.

My parents had, in their basement, an interesting old contraption that, when I did some research, turned out to be a very early-20th-century drafting table. Or at least its base, married to a not-lovely piece of green plywood.

Drafting table, before I got my hands on it

I liked the piece very much, but since I seem to have a surfeit of tables already, I wanted to find another purpose for it. After a few months of mulling it over, I came up with the notion of turning it into a stand for my television. And then eventually it occurred to me that, because the drafting table was tilt- (as well as height-) adjustable, rather than just sitting the flat screen in its pedestal on top, I could actually hang it. This in turn made it possible to add a shelf for a DVR below the screen.

All very good in theory.

After a road trip to collect the stand, I started to consider the practical details. I’d initially assumed I would paint the entire piece a uniform black, but first I had to strip off a couple of layers of old paint. When I started to uncover the bare metal, though, I began to fall in love with the accidental details of its age and working: tool and mold marks and signs of wear. So in the end, once I’d scraped and scrubbed away the old finish and slight corrosion, I sprayed on a lot of clear coat and left it at that.

Then I turned to the new pieces. I have a love-hate relationship with wood. I love the look of it but I don’t love working with it. Omitting the gory details, let’s just say I learned how to use a miter box, sort of. And as I was working on the back porch, my neighbors got an earful that day. Thankfully, that part of the stand is meant to be inconspicuous, and paint hides a multitude of sins.

Finally, I added casters to the legs so I could move the TV around as needed (the base alone, without the back or TV weighs upward of 40 pounds). Then it was just a matter of assembling all the parts, which as always was a lot harder than it had any right to be, IMO (rrrrr). And then of course changing my mind, taking it all apart to make adjustments, and (rrrrr) reassembling it.

So (drumroll) here’s my new steampunk flat screen stand:

The cords are hidden in the hose-y thing.

All the pretty adjustment thingys.

A little bit closer

This was hidden under a coat of paint. No date, but a definite point of origin.


Toys in lampland

December 15, 2013

For a change of pace, I decided to try making something that doesn’t light up. So here we have a couple of gadgets that are just for fun.

This little guy tilts and spins (or at least his arms and shoulders do), and he doffs his hat – or you can, since it’s attached with a magnet.

And here’s another sort of thing entirely. Though related to Roberto around the middle (both make use of parts from the insides of blenders that I’ve made lamps of previously), she’s much more serene and stately. Mostly she’s content to just stand there, looking pretty, but she’ll hold your keys if you like.

Happy holidays!


Prufrock’s claws

July 19, 2012

“I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”
-T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Consider, if you will, this pair of oddities made from parts of chafing dishes married to, in one case, a glass bowl, and in the other, the shade from a ceiling fixture.

Nemo’s Brain

Waltzing Medusa

Depending on the viewer’s mood, they seem poised to move (sideways) or to speak (obliquely). They might foretell the future, or pounce upon you as you sleep. Or simply squat, “as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen,” glowing and ominous.

Dare to eat a peach, or maybe two, in my Etsy shop.