Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Story of Re-Inventing a 1920's Crystal Lamp When a Bit Mechanically Challenged

In the effort to locate Table Lamps for my 1920's inspired boudoir, I searched many days for Crystal Chandelier style lamps that would not break the bank.  My interest always surrounded trying to find something vintage and authentic, however in trying to balance that with a low price tag I was not too successful.  I took a break and added a reminder on my Ebay app on my phone to search for crystal lamps.  After a couple weeks, I found what I was looking for on Ebay.  When my lamps arrived, odd looks were sent my way.
Love at first sight.  One of two 1920's vintage lamps purchased on Ebay.
I found these vintage beauties online for $27.00 (with shipping).  They did not work and they obviously needed some TLC.  I spent an entire Friday night with some Cabernet staring at this beauty trying to find the road I wanted to travel.  Then I realized I had no idea how to rewire anything, let alone a lamp.  I could not let that stop me.

I found a seller on Ebay who specialized in lamp parts and sent a message inquiring about the recommended parts that may accomplish this now seemingly hefty goal.  You see, I am not very mechanical.  Nor am I very handy, really.  What was I thinking?  He sent a message back with some ideas and after a few more exchanges I purchased:

2 Steel Pipes
2 Harps
2 Sockets
2 Silver Lamp Cords
Lot of 25 Clear Prisms

I then conferred with my uncle and it was decided that I still needed 8 washers, 8 couplings and some extender threaded rods.  I went to Lowes, found my items and excitedly headed home. At this point, I have spent $80 on two vintage lamps and they looked no different.  I stared at my pieces spread out on the table and willed it to come together.  It was like putting together a puzzle for me without a picture other than the one in my head.  After 3 hours I had put together one lamp into my vision.  And now, the easy part...to make it work.

Lamp One coming together, but still no light.
I have taken honors classes in high school.  I have a college degree.  I have been a Management Leader on a large property.  I have advised many companies on operational decisions.  One stinking lamp was giving me a headache.  How to light it?  I went to wikipedia for charts.  I read articles.  Finally I realized I had not taken the socket apart. 

Inside the socket it turns out are the two screws that the wires at the end of my power cord needed to be wrapped around and then screwed in.  From there I decided to put a bulb in and test this theory.  It worked!  There was light!  Then I reached for the lamp to adjust it and immediately shocked myself!  In my excitement, I did not think that there was rapid electricity flowing that obviously accounted for the light.  So, I unplugged my lamp and plowed forward.

A few more times I took it all apart and back together until I was happy with the final product.  This was not completed without another shock.  This one sent the light bulb out of my hand.  This is no joke.  You want to be an amateur and take this type of project on...keep your common sense right next to your screwdriver.  4 hours later...a lamp was reborn!

15 minutes later, another lamp was born.  Talk about a learning curve!  Now for the perfect lampshades to take my lamp to the next level.  No pressure.

Two 1920's lamps re-envisioned to meet a modern time.  Sleek, steel lines meet delicate, glass prisms.
Another blog will be coming soon with details (and I am sure some more fumbling) as I find the perfect lampshades to accompany my beautiful creations.  A minor clean up on some of the prisms and the lampshades will take the $80 re-invented lamps to the next level. 

The feeling of pride when the lamps turned on was incredible!  A totally exciting rush for someone that barely manages a screwdriver.