Keep It Simple Stupid!
Our new products this week follow the good ol’ KISS principle, Keep It Simple Stupid. Although lighting is a great way to add some pizzazz to your home, sometimes a room calls for something a little more understated. This week we simplified the linear chandelier 3 ways, check it out:
Our classic double chandelier is great for a rectangular table with a single, centered junction box. The two shades will help spread the light evenly over the table making sure no one is left in the dark!
The new classic triple follows a similar motto but is for those with a table that exceeds 6’.
Lastly, we have our linear triple with “neckless” glass, shown here with hand blown globes from AO! Glass.
Whether you are looking for a fixture that demands attention or a timeless piece to complete your space, we will work with you to create the perfect fixture for your style and budget.
What the Hell is UL?
And what does it have to do with Conant Metal & Light?
UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is all about lighting safety. They do not want anything you buy to blow up, burn down, or melt into a pile of goo.
So when we design and build lighting – custom lighting, funky lighting, repurposed lighting, imaginative lighting – we follow Standards published by UL. These Standards contain specifications like material type and thickness, electrical wire and component choices, fixture weight limits, bulb wattage and spacing requirements, labeling, and safety testing.
Since we are a member of UL, we can build and test new and existing fixtures to these standards. We offer this service for fixtures that are custom-made, vintage or made internationally without UL oversight.
When a fixture is tested, we apply appropriate UL labels. These labels inform consumers and inspectors that this product conforms to and has been tested to UL standards, thereby meeting their requirements for safety. In many areas, electricians can only install fixtures that have been listed and labeled by UL or an equivalent organization.
We can do that!
The inspiration for today’s blog comes from what looks like a pair of huge metal cutting shears. These things are as old as they are odd, and they are extremely heavy. A tool so big begs many questions: who used them, who made them, and what eventually replaced them?
Late one night, I scavenged through the resources of the internet looking for a clue on this tool. Most explanations differed either by name or by function. It seems obvious that these giant scissors are used to cut… but what? I found an interesting bit on the shears from Jeff Peachey’s blog (http://jeffpeachey.com/2011/01/24/mill-board-shears/) calling them “millboard shears.” Peachey, an expert on traditional bookbinding, suggests that the shears were used to cut the hard covers of books in the early 1800’s.
Other sources called the shears “bench shears” or “blacksmith’s shears,” which suggests different uses. Some said they cut large pieces of sheet metal or metal stock, with one end kept stationery so that the other end could be used as a lever. In either case, these behemoth shears were made obsolete by technological improvements in both fields.
The picture above is what we use to cut sheet metal here at the shop, the guillotine shear. Compare this machine to the picture below, you might recognize from your school days.
It is no wonder that these large and unwieldy shears went out of use. Their manufacture was quite difficult as they were often hand-forged. Nevertheless, like most relics of our past, they still retain character that we could scarcely stand to see forgotten! Consequently, Steve’s interest in this tool got them a spot in our mezzanine of random things. At last, Tyler Vendituoli, resident maker, found a new purpose for them. Check out this beautiful table he is making out of the shears!
Check back soon for more repurposed projects.
Custom 50 Jar Chandelier
Cushman Design in Stowe, VT called on us to collaborate on an entire lighting program for a new lakeside home. This large statement chandelier made of inverted canning jars was the pièce de résistance of the project. Our client loves the way the blue glass echoes the water just outside the windows, so our team of pickers set out to find 50 tinted half-gallon canning jars to create the radial display.
Because the client also wanted to go as green as possible by using LED bulbs, which would be clearly visible through the jars, we needed to discover a way to stay true to the fixture while masking the bulbs. Our solution was to use a tinted 5-gallon water jug as the central diffuser – we frosted the jug to obscure the LED bulbs and added a great repurposed element to the design.
Designer Milford Cushman spent a day in the workshop alongside Tyler to get the details of the chandelier just so, and the result is a radiant fixture that brings a splash of color to this bright, airy home.
Another weekend has come and gone and that means more new products in the showroom. In case you haven’t had time to stop by and see them in person, here are a few of our favorite new products!
We are all craving a little sunshine this time of year in VT. This repurposed “Sun Kraft” tanning light will give you all the light, without the ultraviolet rays:
We don’t always get to make the same thing twice when working with repurposed materials but this week we have TWO repeat projects! Take a look at these familiar, yet different, pieces:
I’m sure you all remember the adorable vintage tricycle we turned into a coffee table last year. We are excited to have another, equally as cute, tricycle coffee table in the showroom.
Another table that we had last year was the amazing, adjustable coffee/dining/bar table made from a vintage dentist’s chair. We missed pumping it up and down so much, we made another!
Last, but certainly not least, is this amazing crane sconce. This fixture is extremely versatile and adjustable in so many ways. It can swing side to side, adjust up and down, and the pulley can even slide back and forth!
As a pinup (or plug in) fixture, it can be mounted anywhere in your home that could use a little extra light.
Do you have an idea for a fixture we can create for you? Give us a call or stop by the showroom!
Keep It Simple Stupid!
What the Hell is UL?
Custom Canning Jar Chandelier