Friday, September 16, 2016

Memories in a lamp and ladles

©2016 Barry Smith - Polished coppers soldering irons on rusted circular saw
About a month or more ago I committed to making an Artisan Lamp and a couple of ladles by way of saying thanks for being gifted a heap of stuff by Rhonda McK. I agreed to turn a set of vintage Indonesian scales into the lamp without impacting on the integrity of the scales; and I said I would make a couple of ladles from a couple of small very worn silver-plated trays and some plumbers hand copper soldering iron.

As is often the case the task begins with dismantling the pieces and cutting up metal.

©2016 Barry Smith - The staring point
©2016 Barry Smith - Whilst this is yummy rust the metal needed grinding and polishing for an indoor lamp
©2016 Barry Smith - A selection of smaller copper soldering irons with handles removed
©2016 Barry Smith - Worn silver-plated trays cut for bowls for ladles
Then moving on to hammering bowls and making the light fitting bracket; and grinding and polishing the pieces.

©2016 Barry Smith - Hammered and formed
©2016 Barry Smith - Polished hammered l;able bowls
©2016 Barry Smith - Polished ladle handles
©2016 Barry Smith - Polished bracket with light fitting thread attached
When I gently sanded and oiled the timber section of the scales I discovered that there were heaps of measure markings on the timber. The markings had been made by drilling very fine holes into the timber and hammering in brass wire. As you can seen in the photos below this is very beautiful.

©2016 Barry Smith - Beautiful detail of the brass markings on the scale timber pole.
©2016 Barry Smith - You can see the whole pole is covered in the brass markings
Once all the polishing was complete I could assemble the lamp. I threaded the cord through brackets etc and attached with black ties as I did not want to drill into the timber. On Fiona's suggestion I used a long globe as it fitted the slim nature of the lamp.

©2016 Barry Smith - Difficult to photograph the finished lamp - tall and low light
©2016 Barry Smith - Head off the lamp - light works
©2016 Barry Smith - Lamp head - more detail can be seen with light off
The base was made using recycled timber Rhonda had given me; plus the hanging hook of the scales and the weight used on the scales. So all parts of the scales are present in the lamp. I drilled a hole in the recycled timber so that the scale timber pole could be inserted but not glued. If the family wants to dismantle the lamp it can easily be returned to the glory of the scales.

©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith
The ladles of course have a beauty of their own that stands out against the rusted circular saw blade in the late afternoon sun.

©2016 Barry Smith - Ladles on rust - front view
©2016 Barry Smith - Ladles on rust - back view
A good bit of creativity to finish on Friday. Pizza and red wine is the order of the night.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi AA - there are those of us who can appreciate the old and the metal. Peace. B

  2. What a clever adaptation of the scales, Barry! A very beautiful lamp. Your ladles are always amazing, these no exception...


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.