Thursday, July 14, 2011
Things I Made - The Tea Set Lamp
Anywhoo....I found this little tea set at an estate sale. And by estate sale, I mean a table full of not entirely old stuff in front of a trailer that I drove 12 miles to find. Because sometimes people sort of play fast and loose with the actual meaning of the phrase "estate sale." Another post for another time.
So this set caught my eye for a number of reasons...The hand-painting was really darling. It is textured. They are signed with an Asian symbol by the painter. The dishes are totally crazed. (In dish-talk, that means that moisture is under the glaze, causing it to crackle and darken. ) But mostly, I fell for them because they have butterflies on them. And my name means butterfly, so I just like them. Wherever I find them.
For a good 8 months, they sat on my shelf, because it never seemed right to cut them up. I just couldn't bring myself to risk having one of those sweet butterflies cracking up into fourteen un-recognizable pieces. Then one day, the stars aligned (ie. I was under pressure to make things for a show) and I happened to have a ceramic tip for my electric Dremel tool. (Free tip...don't buy an battery powered Dremel. They are weak-sissy tools that can't hold their charge.) Whatever these are made of, it is rock hard. I burned through two Dremel tips in no time. That's why other people who make lamps out of dishes are smart enough to use porcelain dishes instead. But I like a challenge.
I played with stacking the pieces in various ways until I came up with a configuration that worked, drilled holes in each base, and then put a lamp rod through. Ideally the lamp rod would reach the bottom and have a narrow nut that would screw it on, but the saucer on this set was extremely flat on the bottom and didn't really allow much space for a nut to screw it tight. So the neck of the lamp spins free. It's not conventional, but it won't hurt. Before the final configuration, I used epoxy to glue the pieces together. I also Dremelled a notch for the cord to nestle into so that the lamp would sit flush.
The lamp is available to purchase here or at Heartwood Gallery.