Whatever the bottle, we’ve got a bung for it!

champagne-gardenCorks are still a poppin’

This year’s amazing Summer continues with some lovely sunny September days, gardens are still donning the parasols and deckchairs and the aroma of barbecues is still wafting in the air.

So here’s a top tip for you:
When you’ve finished your barbie, don’t throw away your bottl
es because no matter what your tipple, you can be creative, just take a look at what you can do with your empties…

Our expandable bungs can fit any size bottle neck, with a choice of 8 sizes and three finishes. Our lamp bungs have a screw slot so, as you turn the screw, it expands to be the perfect fit for your bottle neck creating that perfect snug fit for your lamp holder. Choose your lampholder, earthed light flex and in line switch and you are well on your way to creating your own unique lamp.

Small bottle bungs

Small bottle bungs

Our three smaller sized bungs have a small decorative cap; perfect for making a lamp from a classic wine or champagne bottle, just add one of our side-entry lampholders for your flex access if you don’t want to drill a hole in the bottle.

 

Large bottle bungs

Large bottle bungs

Or try one of our larger bungs if you are making a table lamp from a Vase, Demijohn, Milk churn, Trumpet – we’ve seen them all!

You can check tour bungs out on our website using this link Shop Bungs!

 


andy dane gin bottle lamp

Lamps and Light’s customer, Andy from Andy Dane Photography did just that and here’s his photo to prove it … thank you for sharing it with us Andy!!!

So whatever your tipple and whatever the size of your bottle, we’ve got a bung for it! 

 

 

 

Some more of our customers lovely creations

 

Bespoke Light Fittings

Lamps and Lights customer Bruce Stanley, a light fitting maker from Scotland sent us a great short article about his experience and design in converting bespoke light fittings. Here’s Bruce’s message:

Bespoke light fitting with antique lamp holder and shade rings with antique flex

Bespoke light fitting with antique lamp holder and shade rings with antique flex

“Over the years, I have made numerous light fittings for friends and family members. My ‘appointment’ as ‘light fitting maker’ comes from the fact that I am very much against drilling holes in vases and other such pieces to be converted into a lamp and the simple fact I have quite a comprehensive workshop…and yes, I can drill holes in porcelain, glass, etc.

Essentially, I can make these fittings in any shape, size  or style depending on the wishes of the owner/recipient, however there does seem a preference for the older styles. Over the years, I have collected quite an array of old brass fittings but, unfortunately, although nicely made, most of them are unusable because they no longer comply with the latest regulations or, in some cases, are just too expensive to repair.

Excellent components, meeting all specifications, can be obtained from the Lamps and Lights design and restoration hardware company who market a comprehensive range of fittings and materials.

Table lamp kits can be used to make or convert unique table lamps

Table lamp kits can be used to make or convert unique table lamps

My basic design to meet most applications entails the making of a wood (or any other material come to that) holder will can be inserted in to the neck of the vessel being converted into a lamp. Following machining and soothing the wood is stained and polished or painted to obtain the desired finish and effect.

As seen on the photographs, the main feature of my design is the fact that the electrical cable comes out of the side of the lamp fitting insert and not through a hole in the lower vessel.

Following assembly, the holder insert in place by wrapping the shaft with thin bubble foam so that it is a firm in the neck of the vessel. It is very important to note that, when completed , some lamps can be top heavy and require a certain amount of ballast – washed pea gravel, lead shot, etc. inside the base of the vessel to ensure adequate stability.

All electrical work should be done by a qualified electrician.”

Thanks Bruce for sharing your experience with us! If you are thinking of converting a bottle and/or a vase into a table lamp, we have various table lamp kits to choose from and for more help how see our useful information page.

How to make a trumpet table lamp

Lamps and Lights customer Mike Wyn Davies, proprietor of Unique Trophies from Wales sent us this fab story of his journey upcycling an old battered brass trumpet, found lying around in his attic for years, into a stunningly unique table lamp. Here’s Mike’s story…

The plan was to mount the trumpet vertically on a hardwood base, this meant that 3 core cable had to be fed through the trumpet from the bell, through the three valves, around the pipes and up through the pipe holding the mouthpiece.
Feeding the three core cable though the trumpet was the biggest challenge as cable is flexible and it just kept doubling up on itself inside the trumpet.

A fine steel wire was used to feed through the trumpet, but the three valves still posed a problem. This was solved by removing and cutting them down, so that the wire did not have to go through them.

After successfully feeding the steel wire through the trumpet, the three core cable was warmed up in an oven to 70°C for 30 minutes and then secured to the end of the wire. Silicone spray was used down the pipes and on the cable to lubricate it.
It took some effort to pull the cable through, but it was completed successfully.

The photo shows the cable running through the three valve housings.

The base was cut from a hardwood kitchen worktop off cut using a band saw, and a router was used to give a bevel edge. The base was sanded and stained using a solvent based walnut stain, and finished with four coats of acrylic varnish.(Alternatively you could use a Lamps and Lights ready-turned and sanded hardwood Pattress).

Brass lamp holder with shade rings

Brass lamp holder with shade rings

A cork was used to seal inside the battered bell of the trumpet. Silicone spray was used as a mould release. This end was then filled with a fast setting modelling plaster. When set, it was removed and then this was used as a template and former to produce a close fitting wood cone on a lathe to fit into the trumpet bell to attach it to the hardwood base. The cone was screwed and glued to the wood base and drilled to take the three core electric flex. The trumpet was then secured to the cone using a silicone adhesive.
I used a Brass BC Lamp Holder with shade Rings (
Ref: LHbrass04-BC) and Brass Reducer (Ref: BBbrass01:1) I modified the reducer and soldered into the end of the trumpet where the mouthpiece fits.

The photo on the right shows what lies hidden underneath the shade; the brass lamp holder with shade rings, shade carrier, light bulb and lampshade.

This lamp looks very effective and has proved to be quite a conversation piece. Using a very battered old trumpet that was going to be thrown out has now been recycled. With a matching shade, I think you’ll agree it makes a unique and attractive table lamp.

Spotted at an Antiques Flea Market, this is another take on using a brass instrument converted into an unusual lamp. Musical instruments can form the basis of very unique and high quality lighting and lamp projects”.
Mike Wyn Davies
www.uniquetrophies.co.uk

Thank you Mike, this shows there’s so much you can upcycle to create a stunning lamp!

Arcobaleno – light entertainment!

Arcobaleno means ‘rainbow’ in Italian, and it is an apt metaphor for the work of avid upcycler and maker Richard House. He and his wife Rosie run the business together with an emphasis on the unusual. While Rosie will make all sorts of things from beautiful fabrics, Richard makes table lamps from the most unlikely objects – he will try to use anything, so long as it has originally had another, totally different use.

Starting about five years ago making a lamp from a stack of old teacups and saucers, Richard has sold his lamps across the country, and a few have gone abroad (not just to Wales and Scotland, but even as far as Australia!). Recent projects have included a novel new use for clothes pegs, inspired by the attractive patterns that the light makes through the gaps – he says this looks like it could be the start of a whole new range of ‘peg sculptures’.peg sculptures

Richard House-mannekinA regular and very popular lamp has been the modified manikin. Starting from a standard artist’s wooden manikin, Richard adapts the form and, as he says on his website: ‘Arms and legs are moveable, so you could say he’s a man you can manipulate – not often you find a bright one of them!’ Richard House-coke can

A recent challenge that has featured on Richard’s stand at a number of craft shows and makers’ fairs has certainly attracted attention. When he claimed to be able to make a lamp out of anything, somebody handed him a prosthetic leg, saying that would be impossible. Maybe not to everybody’s taste, but it is undoubtedly different!prosthetic legAll these projects are made using Lamps and Lights products. Richard finds the quality, range and price to be second to none, and with prompt delivery and reliable fulfillment of all his orders, he is a regular customer.

And so, what does Richard plan next? Well, he has a few ideas developing, but to see what comes next, why not take a look at his website www.arcobaleno.co.uk.

Of course, if you have something that you think could make an interesting and unusual lamp, Richard would love to hear from you – as you can tell, he is always up for a challenge.

Vintage reclaimed designer lamps

Lamps and Lights‘ parts have been perfect for helping me to create my first collection of bespoke custom lamps, thank you” Tanya Tier

I’m an artist who lives and works in Sussex, and my artistic practice is concerned with themes of magic, enchantment, illusion, other worlds, myths, time and science.
Tanya Tier blowtorch lamp 3Like most artists I am attracted to the things that people throw away, and I have been collecting old materials for many years (broken vintage /antique items and components) which I then use in my artwork. The lamps are an inspiration whereby I could find a further use for some of the lovely old bits and pieces which I have collected.

Tanya retort stand lampThese lamps are elegantly constructed using antique and vintage reclaimed materials. Each lamp is unique, and the materials are sourced far and wide from items which have been discarded because they are unwanted or dysfunctional – then painstakingly restored and re-purposed into these beautiful pieces to give them a different function. tanya tier testing box lampI have endeavoured to give these old objects a new lease of life by creating a collection of industrial style lamps, and to bring together an interesting combination of history, design, art and engineering.Tanya Tier inkwell lamp
The lamps are perfect for interior/set designers, film or fashion shoots, or simply as an original unique and functional feature in the home.Tanya Tier tripod lamp 2

I have been lucky enough to have some of my first collection showcased at a beautiful interiors shop in Shoreditch, London called Elemental, TT lamp 5very popular with interior designers and stars of stage and screen the specialise in vintage / period pieces of furniture TT lamp 7and homewares, renovating all their own salvaged and reclaimed pieces in-house.

As each lamp is unique, they cannot be replicated exactly. However please contact me if you would like something similar made or to enquire about commissions or current available pieces.TT lamp 4 Meanwhile I also have art exhibitions coming up in Arundel (August 2015) and Brighton (September 2015), where I will be showing some of my playful curiosities work. Tanya Tier balls lampTT lamp 2

Please check my website for further details www.tanyatier.com

or see my Facebook page.

Tanya Tier inkwell lampduo“What an interesting story about where some of our lovely components have ended up, thank you Tanya and good luck with your Autumn collection, we look forward to seeing more from you!”  Lamps & Lights

SteamPunk; Victoriana with a kick

We received a wonderful article from Lamps and Lights’ customer Dan Child. Here’s his story of the ‘making of a lamp’ …
photo 4

I was looking for a classically industrial/steampunk-esque pair of bedside table lamps for our new guest room, which is decorated in a warm grey with other quirky items such as a Smeg fridge door displaying our magnet collection, and a floor lamp constructed from steel car parts. I was struggling to find anything suitable, at least for anything less than £100 per lamp, but I was inspired when I saw some cloches for sale in my local Sainsburys.

photo 3I knew immediately that they would make a great house for some eclectic light fittings, and I was up for the challenge of wiring my own lamps (something I’d never done before).

Now I just had to find some fittings. This search was another struggle. Not content with many of the cheap plastic fittings available on eBay and alike, I came across exactly what I was after on Lamps and Lights.

photo 2For each lamp I bought a base bulb fitment with cable grips in antique brass finish, a light switch, three pin plug, and several meters of antique brown fabric-corded cable to give that authentic last century feel. I completed the look with some Edison light bulbs for a warm and elegant glow not provided by many of today’s harsh energy savers and LEDs.

Before my parts arrived I had prepared each cloche by sanding down the base and coating in a rich brown varnish. I left the finish a little imperfect to age the parts. I also used a household bleach to remove the butterfly motifs printed on the glass covers. When my parts arrived from Lamps and Lights I was able to measure up to ensure I could feed my electrical cables in through the bottom of the base, and grooved out a channel to allow the cable to exit from the side of the base. After wiring up the plugs and switches, I wired in the light fittings and screwed them to the bases.

photo 1-3Finally, I installed the bulbs, plugged in and switched on and sat back and enjoyed the soft glow of my very own bedside table lamps, all for about £30 per lamp!

What a great ‘successful’ project, thanks for sending in to us this Dan !

the making of a … tank lamp!

Kevin Harnett#01Dear Lamps and Lights,

The parts arrived in good time and I’m pleased to say that they were perfect for my project. Even my partner was impressed!

She stumbled across this antique brass tank, which was an old plant sprayer or similar.
It still had the pump action on the top and the hose from the bottom, pressure gauge and the carrying straps.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a photo of how it looked when we found it.

Kevin Harnett#02

 

But she was convinced it would make a good lamp with some TLC and careful adapting.
I stripped off all the industrial bits we didn’t want, and managed to get a bayonet holder fixed to the top with the help of parts from Lamps and Lights.

Kevin Harnett#03The cable is taken in through the bottom hose outlet which had to be drilled to fit the cable. Then just added the shade and I think you’ll agree from the photos, it’s looks pretty good!

 

thank you to Lamps and Light’s customer, Kevin Harnett, for sending us his story 🙂

The Creating Balance Project

rob luckinsA lovely article was sent to us by customer Rob Luckins.  Rob is a portrait photographer and runs Rob Luckins Travelling Photographic Studio where he uses a mixture of old and new technologies to create his work. Rob describes himself as ‘a gentleman photographer based on the south coast of England providing portraiture photography and tea drinking wherever needed‘.

creative balance project This last year he has been working on The Creating Balance Project a collaborative project with Anglepoise®, Strong Island and the University of Portsmouth.

10 artists/designers twinned with 10 photographers and an Anglepoise® light. A year long project ending in a series of exhibitions the website plots the progress of their processes and outcomes. Culminating in their exhibition at www.aspex.org.uk which has just ended.

anglepoise 02

Rob used our products on his personally customised Anglepoise® lamp for his part in The Creating Balance Project  and we just love our brilliant red braided lamp flex against this awesome retro lamp.

BUY OUR
FUNKY RED FLEX HERE!
anglepoise 01

Rob has most recently shot the Spring/Summer 2014 lookbook for Dephect clothing.

Give Rob a tweet @Zomtographer or you can find more info about Rob on his website welcometothedarkslide.

www.lampsandlights.co.uk

 

Mister Sowerby’s Old and Delicious

mistersowerby_profileMister SowerbyOne chap’s adventures in vintage and retro. Me mam says it’s old tat…

Amidst one of my periodic bouts of mirthless ennui, I somehow ended up in possession of a Carn studio pottery lamp base, purchased ostensibly to give me a task to keep me away from the malt and mental mire.

Requisite elements purchased, tools at the ready, I could have completed the task of wiring the beast many times in weeks prior. But I delayed, it being my nature as a bottomless sack of generosity to make good on this opportunity to furnish enlightenment. Thus, you sordid ravishing wolves will now receive a blow-by-blow account of Mister Sowerby’s lamp wiring process.  I may in moments, slip into technical terms that appear at first confusing.  Worry not, for the accompanying illustrations will illuminate your reluctant conscience.

image 1Step 1. Assemble the giblets.

You will note that in addition to the previously noted lamp base, we have flex, a torpedo switch, the lamp flange, scrumpers and caps, a rubber scone and a flex trumpet. These will fit together with the aid of tools, hands and brute force to coax photonic mastery over the electroids.

image 2

Step 2. Exposing the flex.

To achieve exposure of the flex, one requires two tin birds, one to open the outer garment of the flex., the second to strip off the undercovers. Once stripped, twist the end of the flex to produce a satisfying nub that is ready for insertion into the lamp flange.image 3

Step 3. Undressing and re-dressing the lamp flange.

The lamp flange is prepared by removal of the upper jacket and the lower skirt. When the inner flange is revealed, push the nubbined flex through the lower skirt and into the inner flange.  image 5Enunciate the screw for each nubbin. Upon full screw enunciation, the flange may be re-dressed with the upper jacket.

Step 4. Attaching the rubber scone and scrumpers.

Insert the chief scrumper into the upper orifice of the lampbase. The rubber scone needs to be inserted onto the reverse of the chief scrumper, that end which is now within the lamp base. This may prove awkward if the lower orifice is narrow, but can be overcome by threading the scone onto a screwdriver and allowing it to slide onto the scrumper (illustrated below).  A crimp scrumper can then be attached to hold the scone in place using the same method. Revise one’s view to the outer lamp base and fit the scrumper cap.image 6image 7

image 8Step 5. Affixing the flex trumpet.

It is at this point I appear to have neglected the illustrative element of this guide. No matter. The flex trumpet is merely a metal tube which screws at both ends. Feed the flex through the trumpet and screw the trumpet to the lamp flange.  Feed the flex through the scrumper cap and into the lamp base. Screw the other end of the trumpet onto the scrumper cap.  It’s very straightforward. One really shouldn’t have any problem with this stage, having made it thus far.

image 9Step 6. Fitting the torpedo switch.

This stage is really a repeat of steps two and three.  Push the flex through the lamp base’s exit orifice. At a point where one feels is suitable for the torpedo switch to reside, use the tin birds to separate the flex and create more nubbins.  The nubbins will require insertion into the switch and screws enunciated. Ensure each nubbin sleeve matches so as not to reverse the polarity. Upon full enunciation, the switch casing can be relapsed.  It is important to note at this juncture that the torpedo switch does not actually launch torpedos.

image 11Step 7. Plug fixation and lighting up.

It’s vital to check first that one has the right kind of plug and not assume that the plug shaped thing in one’s tool box is actually fit for purpose, this may not always be the case. Fitting the plug requires further nubbin enunciation, to which I shall not insult your intellect by explaining again how this works.

Once affixed, the plug can be set in a socket, to bathe the room in the radiant glow of one’s efforts, assuming of course one has a sweet bulb to hand.image 12And that’s how Mister Sowerby wires a lamp.  Now, my nameless terrors of ecstasy, go forth, be plentiful in your gifts and don’t p**y about with electricity 😉

Parts were purchased from a variety of sources hardware stores with the more specialist items from lampsandlights.co.uk.

IMPORTANT NOTICE. YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT ELECTRICITY IS A DANGEROUS BUSINESS AND YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO DO ANYTHING WITH IT IF YOU ARE NOT A GROWN UP OR A COMPETENT HUMAN BEING. YOU SHOULDN’T BE LOOKING AT ANY OF THE ABOVE AS A TRAINING MANUAL FOR YOU. IT IS NOT.

Is is with much appreciation from Mr Sowerby for allowing us to re-post his superb blog from his ever funny and fantastical www.mistersowerby.tumblr.com.

De-Light in the Art of Reinvention

builders-helmet-yellow-lampWith Upcycling being the talk of the town we are privileged to introduce artist and designer and regular Lamps and Lights customer, Michael Grassi, who is developing a range of bespoke lighting where familiar objects take on a new life.

builders-helmet-yellow-lamp-finial-black

 

 

 

 

 

Micheal Grassi tells us …

white-metal-colander-table-lamp“As an artist and designer I am always fascinated by objects and never one to be restricted by conventional thinking, I delight in the art of reinvention. I have created a range of lighting which dismisses the idea that form follows function.

I acquire ordinary manufactured items and turn them into objects of desire and possibly the next design classics; but that’s for the customer to decide.

white-metal-colander-finialI have chosen to work with lighting as it is one of my pet obsessions (my house and my partner will testify to this). I continually search for different components to use when designing my lights. Sometimes these are purpose-made, such as the shade carriers (which also go by the delightful name of gimbles) which I found at  Lamps & Lights and sometimes they are items which I adapt. I produce all the lights in very small numbers and each one is handmade (no mass production here).

There is a brave new world out there for repurposed objects…. “

Michael Grassi

drainer-stainless-steel-pendant-light

We love the bright fun funky unique feel to Michael’s lights and are perfect for showing how our products can be used for the unusual. With so many amazing creations we didn’t know which ones to showcase, so please do take a look at them all on his website but Pasta La Vista really did make us all chuckle here in the office 😀

 

 

oil-spill-table-lampMichael Grassi can be found at www.itsalight.co.uk

and at his itsalight ebay store