Thursday, April 12, 2012

Developing an Obsession with Re-purposed Stuff.

Continuing my obsession with re-purposed materials, I wanted to design a new type of hanging pendant light made out of glass insulators scavenged from old telegraph/telephone poles, dating back to the 1850s. There are literally dozens of varieties, shapes, sizes and styles with many cool colors.

There many collectors around the world, and several very informative web-sites devoted this colored glass piece of history.  I am mesmerized by the antique look and feel of these things especially when lit up.  As project and potential product I would sell on Etsy, I wanted to design a handing pendant light.  Its not a unique idea, you drill a hole in the top, thread a light bulb sprocket with electrical cord and it pretty cool.  Many have tried this and some variations look well made.  
 Then my wife, Xenia, owner of uses tea lights and votives in her events, suggested inverting the glass insulator (ie hanging it upside down some how).  Great idea, but how to do it without drilling a bunch of holes in the glass.  Anyway, I started to sketch out a couple ideas I had.

For this design I would need some kind of customized fabricated bracket to attach to the piece of glass and secure a light bulb socket, and still look nice.  But after tinkering around with some lamp parts that I had laying around I discovered that a lamp shade fitter (2-1/4") fits perfectly on a smaller type of insulator.  As it turns out glass shade fitters work perfectly with these glass insulators.

Ahhh ok progress, that even looks pretty cool adding to the vintage sort of look.  The final prototype assembled with all the hardware and plugged in.  Ready to add to our Etsy portfolio?  Not yet... I have more designs in mind and more proto-types to build.  Stay tuned....

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