Some of the designs I came up with last year have led to cool and interesting new lighting ideas for 2019. The use of flat wire panels and the rods used to configure them, for example, got me wondering how these frame structures would look by themselves without the brass wire. I started with aluminum or brass plates to serve as the fixture base that could be easily connected to any standard threaded light socket or 3/8 inch threaded conduit. Then I drilled angled holes through the plates, through which brass or steel rods could be run at “vectors” of any length. The results were interesting, even if the holes were drilled somewhat at random, because multiple rods going in any direction will always create planes in space. I could then choose to delineate the planes using flat wire panels, or leave the structures as they were. Even though I’m not the first designer to use these minimal, scaffold-like structures for light fixtures, I haven’t seen any exactly like mine. This probably has to do with the fact that I don’t use a lot of precise engineering when it comes to taking measurements, making cuts, drilling holes etc. Often I don’t even have a clear picture of what I’m trying to make until the piece is halfway done. I rely mainly on figuring out a process of production, and the shape reveals itself somewhere along the way.
Carbon Fiber Lights
One of my new lighting ideas for 2019 includes the use of carbon fiber. I’m attracted to interesting materials, especially materials I don’t see many people using. Lately I have been working with a bunch of broken carbon arrows I pilfered from the dumpster behind a local archery shop. I plan on purchasing some larger diameter carbon fiber tubes and seeing where that leads. Although I haven’t yet incorporated low wattage LED lights into any of my designs, I plan on using them inside some of the arrows I have left. I love how the carbon fiber weave has a textured appearance from some angles, and a wet, glossy look from other angles, all while being so smooth to the touch. And of course, it’s light, extremely strong, and reasonably easy to work with. I did find some very interesting carbon fiber lights made by a company called Tokio. Some of the Tokio designs are assembled from tubes or rods, but the most impressive shapes in their lineup are made with custom molds or forms, similar to the way carbon fiber auto body parts are manufactured. Tokio even makes a really cool carbon fiber lounge/couch, in three different sizes.
Wall sconces are a great luminary accent for any home, and my list of new lighting ideas for 2019 wouldn’t be complete without them. I kicked off the new year by installing a pretty cool one in my Mom’s house. The hardware was cheap, only $20 in the Home Depot discount bin. Like almost everything I buy at a retail store, I modified this fixture to work better with the rolled-up mat of brass wire I prepared. She was happy with the results, and I certainly plan on making more of these in the near future.
Wire-Lined Wire Balls
Another new lighting idea for 2019 is a combination of two things I’ve been doing all along, but have never actually thought of until recently. This idea, to line a wire ball of one color, with wire of a different color, was inspired by one of my competitors in the Detroit Holiday Window Walk contest. Her version featured gold leaf inside plaster hemispheres, and it was a really cool look that reminded me of a broken egg. The only way for me to actually pull off a similar idea using a brass wire ball was to start with a powder coated ball. The powder coating would ensure that the structure would stay together after I cut it open with metal sheers. Look for more of these and a lot more, in 2019!