Circles of Light

We do the oddest projects.

planning_IR_IR.jpg  Initial Layout  

People who know us, know we are always working on something. It’s true.  Some have questioned what we are up to these days.

bending rings_IR.jpg  Cutting strapping material for circles (rings)

(Besides a gazillion other things), we tell them we are working on a chandelier.   “What kind of chandelier?”, they’ll ask.

compass_IR.jpg  Preparing jig to weld rings

cut template_IR.jpg  Cutting jig template on bandsaw

“It’s kinda hard to describe”, we reply

setup_IR.jpg  Ring set up in jig, ready to weld

“What does it look like?”

“A bunch of circles around a tube”, we’ll tell them.

weldring_IR.jpg  Welding one of many rings

After a pause and a quizzical look, they come up with their next question.

k grnd rings_IR.jpg Grinding one of many rings

“What’s it made of?”

“Metal … mostly.” We say.

grindpins_IR.jpg Grinding steel pin connectors

“How did you come up with it?”

We saw something like it 10 – 15 years ago in a fancy light shop… and were inspired by it’s uniqueness… and thought someday we’ll make something like it. So we wired the house when we built it (a decade ago now) with this chandelier in mind.

mockup_IR.jpg  Mock up of ring assembly

weldrings_IR.jpg  Welding rings together into subassembly

The design has been a complex math problem.  Our ceiling is 14’ high, and we want the chandelier  8 – 9’ off the ground. It should have a decent Length-over-Diameter to have a pleasing aesthetic. So we had to calculate not only the circle diameter, but their circumference as they are splayed out and reduce as it goes away from the center.

weldg_IR.jpg  Welding ring assembly

Should we do a splayed series of 3 circles or 4?  13″, 15″, 17″ diameter or 19″ diameter, (which equates to 30-some inches splayed out), or all of the above… Hmmm?  The bigger the ring diameter, the longer the overall length.  Decisions. Decisions… and lots of layouts and mockups.

grind rings_IR.jpg  Grinding ring assembly

Should we paper mache the exterior of the center tube or sand blast to assure the light bulb doesn’t become overly prevalent.  We’re looking for more of a ‘glow’ afterall.

sprayg_IR.jpg  Spraying spray tack on inner tube

As we work through building this unique project that has been on our project docket for well over a decade, it occurs to me that it isn’t just Circles of Light… but Circles of Life.

Our life, all the many projects, trials and tribulations, friends & family come and gone – on and off.

spraypaper_IR.jpg  Spraying textured art paper to coat tube

papertube_IR.jpg  Applying paper to tube and trimming

Somehow, as it comes to fruition after all this time, so many things have changed in our own life, and it makes us reflect on those things we have accomplished, and those things we have lost.

paintg_IR.jpgPainting interior of chandelier ‘shade’

As it shines down from it’s new home, it casts shadows, points of light, and a soft subtle glow.  It has it’s new beginning, and will shine long after we are gone.

finsished close_IR.jpgThe big reveal

finished far_IR.jpg

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Let there be flowers

So if you’ve followed this blog you might have noticed that we take on some fairly oddball and eclectic projects.  It’s not because we lie awake at night and try to think of these ‘interesting’ projects.  We actually see a need… and just aren’t scared of the work or the ‘we’ve never done that before’ or ‘we don’t know how’, or ‘we don’t have the skillset’ (my personal favorite).  Those phrases we hear from other people, just aren’t in our vocabulary.  Many of our projects, believe it or not, come about because we come up with some good idea… but we can’t buy ‘it‘ or it is too expensive to buy.

Take our concrete table for instance.  Who builds their own concrete table?  We didn’t set out to build our own concrete table… but we were just too cheap to pay the 4 figures for a seemingly simple concrete table.  We asked instead… ‘how hard could it be’?  Well… we found out!

But I digress…  We are still working on the project that just keeps giving… our pizza oven. Somehow it’s hard to work outside when the ground is covered with ice and snow.  But we are determined to find an end to this project so that we can move on to something else.  So we put in the wiring and the lights.

oven lightsi.JPG

bigposti.JPG

We put lights under the eaves of the pizza oven roof, aiming down at the granite counter top.  We also hung mood lights in the trees.  We draped them across the drive way, drawing the eye to the pizza oven itself.  To do so, we erected a tall 12′ post to swag the lights between.  We found the tall silver post, at least during the daylight, to be a bit of an eyesore.

At night, you can’t really see the post, and the lights look good.

lightpostnight_Ssi.JPG

lightsnight_Ssi.JPG

So we decided that the silver post needed something to distract from it.  Maybe it’s being in the middle of winter with snow all around, and more expected.  Maybe it’s our unconscious desire for the onslaught of Spring.   Wellll…..

When we were in New Mexico in November 2015 (just a couple months ago), we went to Ruidoso as recommended by our friend Gary. We purchased a ‘bushel’ of metal flowers and brought it home, not knowing exactly what to do with it.  It has sat in our basement ever since.  That is until we were looking for something to distract from that silver post.  So we cut the base off and the flowers apart and re-purposed them… trimming them and cutting them back, flattening their ends, and drilling holes in them.  We painted the post and mounted the flowers, carefully arranged, like a vertical flower arrangement.  Let there be color in the middle of our winter.  No more eye sore of a silver post… Let there be flowers.

post beforei.JPG Post before

 

new posti.JPG  New painted post with flowers

 

flowersi.JPG Flowers

 

flowers closi.JPG Flowers close

 

Much better!

And people ask us what we do in retirement.

Nutin’ .  Sit around and drink coffee all day. 🙂