Saturday, October 8, 2022

Fused Plastic Desk Lamp Shade

Gaudi lampshade

As Frank Zappa knew all too well, necessity is the mother of invention, and it can lead to some fun experimentation. When I bought this lamp from Amazon, I was going for the two USB ports built into the base as well as its dimming capabilities, and found the vaguely Edison, science-lab appearance appealing.

In practice, the bare bulb delivered a raw, unpleasant level of glare no one would want in their home. Instead of spending a half hour returning it, I decided to spend around five figuring out how to solve the problem.

I have posted about past experiments with Fused Plastic any number of times on this blog, in projects from  bunting bombing, to wildly frilly aprons, to Barbie survival gear, to Chinese Lanterns. If you follow the link you will find how-to tips for getting started on your own fused plastic experiments. Happily, my own experiments have resulted in a huge bag of promising plastic wrapping. This project incorporates a gift bag from the Gaudi Museum in Spain along with two different wrappings for toilet paper in bulk and a couple of clear vegetable bags to give thickness and strength.

The Gaudi on the lake

The How-To:

Measure, measure, measure. Make several stupid mistakes. Learn from them. And the solution is to use a strip of stiffer plastic (cut from some ribbed plastic shelf liner I have for some unknown reason) at top and bottom to hold the cylindrical shape, glued in with clear silicone sealant. Two wood skewers normally used for something like Chicken Yakitori are cut to size and inserted (after a lot more measuring) so that the shade balances perfectly atop the lamp.

The how-to

And there you have it. A lovely fused plastic lampshade that, while helping to save the planet, will also charmingly light up my life.

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