April 7, 2008
Lamp Making: shedding new light on used materials
First of all, I am so thrilled that I was able to pun in my headline. Crafters and puns are like peas and carrots.
Lamp making remains a relatively new venture for me, and I’m not even entirely sure what prompted it.
I have previously dabbled in items that rely on used chinaware and vintage jewelry pieces, and always loved the idea of working with found and used materials. At some point, I had the thought of focusing my work entirely on house wares that relied on such materials, and while I think this was when lamps first entered my mind, I struggled with inspiration.
Fast forward a few months and I was in the market for a cute desk lamp to brighten up my day job. Basically, my more immediate motivation gave finding inspiration a kick in the pants.
Warning: A big craft secret is about to be revealed (shhhhh). Here it is. I got the idea for using glass bottles because I saw it somewhere else first. But I like to think I’ve done a nice job of making it my own as far as what I look for in materials, and how I bring it all together.
The tricky part as far as the bottles go is drilling a hole for the wiring, but with the right type of drill bit – diamond-tipped, core – that part becomes much less tricky. It does require some patience however. Once the hole is drilled, and I make sure the interior of the bottle is clear of any debris from that process, all UL certified components are used to complete the wiring, and voila...lamp! Well, almost.
Equally as important is the lampshade, and I spend a good deal of care thinking about how both the lamp, and shade are paired with one another to create a unified look. Currently my lamp shades are constructed of new materials, however there is definitely opportunity there for using vintage fabric or used textile items. Something I am eager to explore.
Come to think of it, I suppose I already am. I recently received a custom order to make a pair of lamp shades out of some cloth napkins belonging to the customer. So there you have it...reduce, re-purpose, recycle. Doing my part one lamp at a time.
P.S. You can conserve electricity by unplugging your desk lamp (or any other appliance) when it's not in use.