Post-Hurricane Greetings to everyone!
Well it truly is a miracle, but we didn’t lose power yesterday! Approximately 98% of our town lost power, but we were miraculously spared, so last night we ended up having an impromptu party at our house for all our friends who had lost power. Overall we faired pretty well, though we did have a bunch of smaller branches down on our lawn. Here’s a shot of the branch pile, waiting to be picked up and carted off the dump.
But, since the power is on and we have internet I am so glad that I am finally able to sit down and write a post about that light that I had teased so many months ago. I think the final result is really exquisite, especially with the intricate shadows it casts, but as my title suggests, it was quite an exercise in patience!
The process is nothing new, I certainly have seen it all over the place before. You inflate a balloon, and then dip string into glue as you wrap it slowly around the balloon where you want your shade to be. However, while it may sound simple enough, the whole thing is actually both tricky AND time consuming (and quite a bit messy as well.)
First, I knew I wanted a very round shaped light so I made sure to draw my guide lines on my balloon pretty high up where it still looked like a perfect sphere. Make sure you draw carefully where you want your cord opening to be, and where your shade will end because its hard to get a good sense of that once you’ve started wrapping the string around.
Then, you basically take any sort of string that you want, I used left over white yarn I had lying around, and you start running it through your glue and wrapping it around your form. I had originally hang up my balloon over my table, but I found that it kept swinging around and out of my reach, so I ended up just sitting it down in a bowl. I also found it tricky to be continually running the string through the glue as I wrapped, so I would cut off a long piece, and dunk it all into my glue mixture, before beginning to wrap it around.
I had a bit of a problem with the string not sticking to itself or the balloon all that well. So I decided to build up the layers slowly, letting my light dry in between every few layers of string. While I think the result was much cleaner and more organized with this technique, it made the whole process seem pretty endless. I think if I had had a helper who could have held the balloon or dipped the string in the glue, that might have helped.
Overall my assessment is that I love the look, I think its a great light, but you are not going to see me trying to mass-produce these any time soon!! I have even greater respect for people who make these, and I am certainly wondering if they have any secrets they could share with the rest of us. I had seen one post where the woman used twine, which I thought looked really rustic and cool, so part of me still wants to try that some day, but for now it will have to wait!
I hope everyone on the East Coast survived Hurricane/Tropical Store Irene in safe condition without too much wind or water damage, and hopefully I’ll have another post for everyone in the next few days with another project I’ve been working on in the last few months.