- Buy a nice-looking old chrome coffeemaker at an estate sale.
- Take it home and spend a couple of hours trying to get the two halves apart.
- Eventually realize that the rubber seal in the middle is fused to the metal from overheating.
- Destroy the seal, bit by bit. Success! You now have two separate pieces.
- Ignore the pieces for several months while you work on other projects.
- Find a stainless-steel wok lid at a thrift store. Take it home.
- Procrastinate through the holidays.
- Decide it’s time. Start drilling.
- Stack up the pieces. Realize you need a couple more parts. Find one in the small parts stash. Admit the other one stumps you.
- Take a break. Eat lunch. Realize what you need is part of the coffeemaker, it’s just in the wrong place.
- Start cutting. Keep cutting. Cut yourself. Swear a little.
- Stack up the pieces again. Cut pipe and string them together. Feel ambivalent.
- Set it aside for a few days.
- Drill more holes. Clean the parts.
- Rough assemble the lamp, but don’t wire it.
- Take it upstairs and stare at it for a week. Tinker with it occasionally.
- Admit it’s still not right. Realize how to fix it.
- Start cutting. Finish cutting. Stack up the pieces again. Phew, finally!
- Assemble and wire the lamp. Do the fiddly finish work.
- Insert bulbs. Plug it in and turn it on. Bask.
- (Optional) Write a post. Leave some things out.
Posts Tagged ‘recycled’
“I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”
-T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock“
Consider, if you will, this pair of oddities made from parts of chafing dishes married to, in one case, a glass bowl, and in the other, the shade from a ceiling fixture.
Depending on the viewer’s mood, they seem poised to move (sideways) or to speak (obliquely). They might foretell the future, or pounce upon you as you sleep. Or simply squat, “as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen,” glowing and ominous.
A couple of years ago, I was browsing the aisles of my local 99 Ranch Market – a great place to kill a spare hour with a friend – when I found these really fun tins (full of crackers, of course). I had to have them.
When the time rolled around to put the tins to use, I found some plain white shades to go on top. But they seemed not quite adequate. Then I remembered the joss paper I’d acquired on another trip to 99 Ranch…and the die was cast.
I’ve been told that the bases and shades seem to be speaking different languages. I can see – or rather hear – that. But given that the bases by themselves speak three or four…well, I don’t see the problem.