The “Damn Lamp” was a lamp my friend Sarah Lowe made for her MFA thesis at San Jose State. The Lamp was a visualization of mortality of the plague in 1665 London. She would call it the “damn lamp” because of both its embodied data and the stress involved in producing and exhibiting it.
I now have my own damn lamp, though it doesn’t embody any particularly damning data. As you might have gleamed from my previous posts on the matter, I’ve had several ideas that I’ve chased in my quest to build this lamp, all ending in failure for one reason or another.
After almost giving up I came back today and pulled on some of the lamps I’ve found most inspiring. It turns out the most inspiring lamps (to me) are the ones that play with ready made materials and put them together in different ways.
I first thought of building a faucet light, switched on by turning a spigot. This was inspired by one of the many trips I made to the Home Depot to try and get materials for the failed lamps I have half built. While wandering the piping isle looking for bases I found a spigot with a red handle that just stood out to me.
I started putting together my faucet lamp, but out of frustration with embedding a switch inside the tight shaft, I gave up and re-examined the materials I had available and the constraints that were forcing my design decisions. With the time remaining I decided I had to work with materials that were going to be easy to work with. Instead of soldering LED’s which hadn’t arrived yet, I had to reconsider the LED based design. Lighting Plus on Broadway was a source of immense inspiration. I found the bulb couplers and I couldn’t stop playing with them. I purchased a few and then reimagined my faucet lamp instead as a wall lamp.