the lamp on, with the lights out

My 4.301 class (Foundations in the Visual Arts), had a mini-assignment to join three or more pieces of metal, with at least one piece of metal being a different type than the other two. I had wanted to make a lamp out of a kusudama for a while, so the assignment presented a great opportunity. The frame was quite easy to make: I used some pieces of aluminum sheet I got at the art store in Central Square (Pearl), some angle bracket stock from the scrap bins in the Edgerton Student Shop, and an old mint tin. All of that was riveted together, and the electronics put in the mint tin with a little hole dremmled out of the side for the power switch, and one in the middle of the tin and through the frame to hang the lamp.

For the actual lighting, I salvaged some LEDS from some LED flashlights, and soldered them into a cube shape. Then, I used some speaker wire to connect the cube to a AA battery pack, in a circuit containing a potentiometer (both as a load resistor and primitive dimmer) and an on/off slide switch.

the batteries inside the mint tin the LEDs

The LEDS are violet/ultraviolet, and so they make things glow like a blacklight does. So, I went to Pearl with the LED/battery module and found some materials that would respond to the blacklight and at the same time be translucent enough to let light through. First I found some vellum, which held creases very nicely, but was brittle and tore when I tried to assemble the piece. Next, I tried the same thing with some acetate, which proved too easy to tear. After this, I changed the type of kusudama I was making, and I got some sheets of a different kind of vellum that was more pliable, and made a kusudama of sonobe units, which are much easier to manipulate. The kusudama was then hung on the wire by placing it over a key ring. However, the key ring started showing as the paper settled over time, so I placed a piece of screen over it, so the load would be carried over a wide area, and reinstalled the kusudama.

the lamp off the lamp on