FAQ: How did you make that?
I was very honored to find out last week that Starry Night Light won the Award of Merit. It’s a working lamp made from leftover paper from a few different book art projects of the past. The big question that night, the question I always get, was “How did you make that?”
With today’s FAQ, come on in my studio and see the process of this lamp.
The idea started in the aisles of a thrift store. A torn “Japanese Lantern” style lamp was on the shelf, collapsed, with a $1 price tag. How could I say no? The lamp sat on the dining room table for a few months waiting for the right idea to come along. Later, in the aisles of the craft store, there was a star paper punch that was an ideal size. Off I went!
The tricky part was maintaining the shape of the lantern while converting it from the tissue paper to the stars. I removed strips of the tissue paper one a time, replacing each segment with enough stars to maintain the body of the sphere.
Here’s a funny side-story. Shortly into it, I noticed some colorful language showing up on the stars! I could just see a parent buying this for a child’s room, and then the child discovering all that language. Whoa–that would not be good. I sorted through the whole pile, reading over each one, front and back, to pull out the ones that had inappropriate language.
Eventually the whole frame was covered with the stars. Unfortunately there were some trouble spots–places where the stars were sticking out and where the lamp was not exactly round. I marked these areas with blue tape and then pulled the stars off to glue new ones on. After some tweaking, it all worked out well.
This is my favorite kind of art–one where the idea comes slowly over time, but when it eventually forms, you know it’s exactly the right thing to do. I guess Barbara Vincent, the judge of the exhibition knew too. I was thrilled to receive the award! But most of all, I hope this piece finds a loving home.