Monday, January 16, 2012

Transforming Boring Glass Light Fixtures

Apartment living comes with problems and many, many opportunities. One of them is boring standard light fixtures. In this case the fixture looks to be circa 1960. The "gold" nut at the center allows you to unscrew it from its base on the bathroom wall above the medicine cabinet.

Removed from wall, ready to be transformed

Side view

The solution: a collage using pages from a Chinese astronomy periodical, combined with little squares cut from Chinese paper used in ceremonies honoring the dead. The collage was created directly on the lamp, with portions attached using a glue stick. Once complete, the entire piece was treated to a wash consisting of a mix of metallic gold acrylic paint and water (doesn't show much in these photographs, but adds a subtle, dusty sparkle). Note that the paper bubbles horribly upon application of the wash, but shrinks back to its original tight fit when it dries.

Collaged fixture

Close-up, left side

Close-up, right side

Installed in bathroom

When lit

To restore fixture to its original boring condition, or to switch collages somewhere down the road, simply take the fixture down, let it soak for about half an hour, and then scrub away the paper.

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