Art is not always the seamless and graceful creation of something beautiful out of random other things. Often it is the messy and curse-laden creation of crap out of other crap.
Today I was attempting to make another lamp as a gift for my son for Christmas. My idea was to make an octopus with XBOX consoles for tentacles and LED light strips running in and around the thing.
After hours of diligent work the base was finished, the lights were in, and I had three tentacles, having already decided it was going to be more of a tri-pus than an octopus.
After hours of hard work and preparation it was time to shape and cover the thing.
Which is when my friend asked me if I smelled any burning.
I live in an old house. She’s nearly 120 years old, so my first thought was wiring or the heater I was using on the porch. It wasn’t until I had given up on finding the smell and settled back down thinking it was a passing car that I smelled it again.
In the fucking lamp.
All those lovely LED lights were heating up just enough to cause burning chemical smells to emanate from my creation.
I swore some and began ripping the lighting out of the three tentacled monstrosity.
Which is how I ended up painting my son an image from Super Mario Bros. (Which I will not be sharing here until after Christmas in case he reads my blog.)
In making this lamp I used money from a LootCrate bundle I received I think back in 2014. The money was lovely really and came in blue and red, ($100 and $500 credit denominations.) It was perfect for the project because it was really high quality, thick paper with a solid tooth and was just large enough to fit into the allotted slots of the lampshade so long as I trimmed off the white edging.
For the extra elements on the lamp I cut the cardboard that came with the kit, painted it black with acrylic, and glued it along the outside to create another layer of paper lamp. I then cut out parts of the money to add shapes to the sides and top of the lamp.
Finally I painted the entire thing in a liquid metal antique copper paint and finished it with several layers of gloss mod podge.
After a quick but thorough boolean search of increasingly creative descriptors I am unable to find images of the kit. So here is a crappy drawing of the component parts, minus the various rectangular sheets of white paper that came with it. You’ll have to imagine those. It was four pine wooded legged parts, two with groves and two with elements that fit into the grooves.
And that my dears is the birthday gift. A one of a kind artistically rendered Firefly lamp.
I’ve been working on finding my voice with my art. I’ve tried Ebrú, watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, sublimation dyes, all sorts of art styles. I seem to be an artist who likes to play in all the paints, and all the styles.
Most recently I’ve created a painting inspired by 2020. I used paper from a lampshade my dog decided to eat – as I believe our pets often lead us to our creative intentions. Clearly this paper was meant for more than mere light filtration.
I used dictionary pages and words as a backdrop, and watercolor and metallic paints, and quilling paper. I added and tore away, I used the metallic paints to mimic kintsugi techniques along the tears in the paper. I wanted to capture the loss and the healing of the pandemic.
So here it is: Wrought. A finished something.
Managing life with chronic illness requires savvy spoons