I’ve come to know that inspiration abounds all about us in this glorious world we live in. All it takes is an open mind and bright open eyes to tap into that natural sense of wonderment we are all born with. I find inspiration everywhere. And such was the case while walking about the hardware store just a little while back.
I enjoy the electrical section of stores such as these. There’s palpable electricity in the air… Oh, bad pun indeed, but really, how can one not be smitten like a child under the magical glow of a multitude of lamps, fixtures and bulbs?
Amidst the brilliant light radiating about the space, I came upon reproduction Thomas Edison style filament bulbs. I knew I just had to have them. So I purchased several and made my way back to my shop.
For days on end I ruminated about the piece, playing with shapes and forms, manipulating materials and sculpting ideas until I found the perfect elements to combine. I chose 19th Century cast iron decorative panels in a rare “raindrop” pattern, carefully cut them to size, then laboriously cleaned, buffed, polished and clear coated them with a deep gloss finish.
A custom welded steel surround was fabricated, finish ground, hand filed and sanded, then patinaed to match, and clear coated in a lustrous satin. As the pieces started to come together, it became apparent that ordinary chain, cable or wires simply would not do as hanging support for the piece. So I located rayon wrapped lamp cord, then braided it with 1/16th inch steel cable that was patinaed to match the piece.
It all came to light just in time to be featured in the 8th Annual Guerrilla Truck Show, one of Chicago’s premier design events, and the fixture is truly one of a kind. The photos don’t do it justice, as it positively shimmers even when the lamps are not lit.
It’s always fulfilling to take an inspiration and build upon it, turning thoughts into tangible, glorious reality. Thomas Edison’s simple, efficient design from over a hundred years ago provided me with that very inspiration. Behold, The Eddy Sun lamp.
Austin Bader Copyright 2012