Friday, August 20, 2010

Dim Lighting and Traveling Doll

This post focuses on the solution to a lighting problem in a dim hallway, but on the way there we pass the Oaxaca wall. Has anyone else ever read "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years"? It's a book from the late 1800s with beautiful color plates about a doll that travels the world and at one point ends up as a goddess to a troupe of monkeys on a tropical island. This is my version of Hitty. The doll was a gift from a friend of my great-grandmother's and dates back to the Civil War.  For about ten years she has been a "bruja" (Spanish for "witch"), collecting lots of charms and magic amulets about her.

Now we turn the corner to confront the lighting problem. This is an Alhambra-style apartment building dating back to the 1920s. For some inexplicable reason, the long entry hallway has no light fixtures and no electrical outlets. Because it is a rental, rewiring isn't an option. The solution? A string of Christmas lights framing the top and the bottom of the hallway, powered by an extension cord that runs into the bathroom (all very neatly tucked into corners).

As shades for the Christmas tree lights I used a roll of copper and created cone shapes out of the copper after tooling designs into the metal and punching holes. Soft copper is extremely easy to work with and can be bought by the roll from large arts suppliers.

The cord is attached to the wall with copper tape, which I discovered at a local hardware store. I have no idea why others use copper tape or what its normal purpose is, but it certainly came in handy here.

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