Sunday, December 18, 2016

lighting effects

In my ongoing effort to pretend winter doesn't exist and that it doesn't really get dark at 4:30, I've been mucking around with a lamp making project. Before everything outdoors got covered in several layers of ice and snow (about three weeks ago), I carried a pair of secateurs and a shopping bag along on a couple of park walks. Now this is the semi-wilderness park I'm talking about and not the outrageously well maintained Victorian Public Garden. Anyway, I collected some sticks in order to make an 'artistic rustic box lamp'.

The attached pictures will show you just how far I got with the stick lamp - not very as you'll notice. In the second shot the appearance that it's standing upright is deceptive, well actually an outright lie, since it's partly leaning on the black desk lamp behind. Otherwise, it folded into a parallelogram no matter how I tied the strings. I used to be good with geometry too. The idea was supposed to be that a card paper square shade (with cutouts for coloured acetate) would wrap the outside with the other open square tied on top to hold it together. Since it proved to be unstable I tried another plan which was to make the upper square smaller, figuring that would make it less likely to tip. Instead, it twisted. No pictures were necessary as I took the whole thing apart. If we had a fireplace the remains would have made a nice bit of kindling.

Never mind, at least now I can use my table for its regular duties as a drawing and painting space. Have you ever had projects fail that originally seemed to be really good ideas? At least I wasn't attempting to build a fountain in the living room.. this time.

The above is a picture done a couple of years ago called 'Eustace's Gift' (Eustace being the dragon).

Let's hope for an early spring.


Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

"Have you ever had projects fail that originally seemed to be really good ideas?"

Ah... Most of them actually. Although some fail when I knew at the outset that they were not really good ideas. I suppose it depends how we define failure to ourselves though.

Tom said...

Aaaah! What a pity; and you tell such lovely "outright lies" too. The picture you present is perfect. May I suggest that the perfection might just emanate from dog-on-the-bed?

marja-leena said...

I seem remember you made a lovely lamp out of paper & sticks a few years ago, successfully! So don't give up!

I remember the painting - definitely worth another look. Keep warm and enjoy the white stuff!

We are presently having the third snow storm in three weeks. I love how it brightens the world and accents every tree amd shrub branch. Of course, from the house, not from a car or bus :-)

susan said...

I can think of a number of ideas I've had for projects that were abandoned before starting - i.e., anything involving the need for major tools and a giant workshop.

On the other hand anything we actually get around to attempting isn't a failure so long as we learned something from having made the effort.

susan said...

It was one of those 'seemed like a good idea at the time' concepts. Having cut and strung and glued and restrung a number of times I was relieved to see the last of it, Tom. On the other hand it was pretty amusing walking through the park with my clippers and a bag since my husband was convinced I'd be arrested. It's not like I had an axe or a chainsaw.

This was one of my favourite pictures when it was done and the dear dog was a very important part. But for the fact he's brown rather than black and white he reminded me of Garth.

susan said...

You're right, Marja-Leena, I did have success with a similar project a few years ago - straight sticks and notches are far easier. The lighting thing wasn't a complete bust as I made a new (and very elegant) turning cylinder for that one and I also managed to set up a sorely needed plant light for my streptocarpus plants.

I'm happy you enjoyed seeing the picture again.

We haven't been enjoying the white stuff much more than you're likely to have done since it's far too early. Then it got freezing cold, painfully so. I don't much like having to stay indoors.

I saw on the news Portland was hit very hard with similar storms to yours. At least you have the comfort of knowing spring comes early there. :)

Tom said...

I have just read your account of Garth [and out loud to Lucy who is doing 'things']. We both spontaneously agreed that it was a truly lovely story. Thanks Susan.

Tom said...

Incidentally, it's lovely to read a comment from Marja-leena. May I use this place to wish her and family all the season's best?

susan said...

Good morning, Tom,
I'm very glad you and Lucy both enjoyed meeting Garth. He was a fine and noble beast.

and, yes, of course you can leave your greetings here for Marja-Leena, although she'd be more likely to see them at her own place.

All the best.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Tucked away all snug and sound
a lantern lights their way
shadows now behind
Broken lanterns

clairesgarden said...

I am deep in winter funk , but solstice today so hope for lightness soon. I love the lamp idea , sorry it didn't happen so we could see your idea come to light too... it sometimes only seems lightish between 10am and 12 noon here. so dark and dismal, been dryish but facing a few days of stormy wet windy stuff now.

susan said...

Thanks so much, Lindsay.
All the best of the
Season to you and yours.

susan said...

Hi Claire, If it's any comfort to you the winter funk and lack of bright light affects me the same. What I do manage to do successfully was to arrange a corner light for my flowering plants. I may have to move them and place my head under it for a while.
Meanwhile, we'll both be watching for brighter days.

Should Fish More said...

I had a somewhat similar experience maybe 50 years ago, when I made a raft out of beer cans, that I felt were properly sealed. They were not up to the Yukon River near Dawson, and damn near got all 4 of us drowned.
Art lovely, and well done pictures as well, as always.

susan said...

Making a river raft from beer cans takes the prize for projects that didn't quite work out. You and your friends were lucky, Mike.

I liked reading about this guy who built an island using plastic bottles. He seems pretty cheerful.

Delighted you like the pictures - esp the one that worked :)

Gary said...

Most of my projects (and me) seem to have unintended outcomes...seometimes positive and often interesting.

susan said...

Usually I manage to finish whatever project I had in mind even if the result is different from the one I'd hoped to obtain. Seems to be much the same with my life. :)