Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cello Lamp!

One of the best parts about having hired Robyn as my assistant at the violin store is that I am free to tackle projects just because I want to.  Having another luthier around who can do repairs has been almost magical.  I can leave a pile of rental instruments on the floor by my bench with a note saying they need to be cleaned up and put away, and when I come back the next day it's happened!  I'm not drowning in work every minute.  Which means now when I have an idea to make something that is purely for fun I can occasionally indulge instead of looking wistfully from the workbench all the time and wishing I could flex more creative muscle.

So I made two things for the new teaching studio space we are expanding the store into just to make it more fun.

Behold the cello lamp!

I wish I did not own as many broken cellos as I do.  Many a sad, sad rental story behind them.  (We no longer rent cellos because my heart couldn't take it anymore and it was getting expensive.)  Anyway, this was a 3/4 size cello with a giant back crack that really couldn't be fixed in any affordable manner, so I glued it shut enough with Titebond and then merged the whole instrument with a $17 lamp I found at Target.  I removed the fingerboard, drilled a hole in the top at the base of the neck joint, and ran the cord up through there and along a channel I cut all the way up the neck.

The only truly tricky part was getting the top piece of the lamp to fit securely at the top of the scroll, and I wound up running a whole extra piece of pipe through it but had to get it bent to the proper angle so it would stand straight when viewed from the side.  Luckily the electrician in the store across the street had a gadget for bending conduit pipes and was able to pop my lamp piece into the correct shape in a matter of seconds.  Anyway, I think it looks super cute, and now this cello gets to live on in some new fashion instead of ending up in a garbage heap (which is too depressing).

My other moment of purely for fun violin store prop creation was my 'bow-quet.'

Most people don't notice right away that all the stems in the vase are actually violin bows.

I have an inordinate number of broken bows that I will eventually think of enough creative uses for to justify keeping them, but this was the first chance I've had to do much of anything with finding them a new use.  My kids want to make bow-quets too with their own flowers, so this summer I might give them each a stack of sticks and a vase and let them go to town.

There were probably wiser uses of my time, but what's the fun of having ideas if you don't occasionally get to try them out?  Besides, it's my name on the window, and if the shop is going to represent me, it needs reflect my personality.  I'm proud of that cello lamp, and the bow-quet makes me smile.  This summer I may buckle down and see if I can finish the coat rack I have in the closet.  It has violin and cello scrolls for the hooks, but I wasn't able to focus enough to get it done when I had the idea for it back when Ian was still deployed in Iraq.  But he's home now!  And surely he wants to use all that Army Major expertise on helping me with yet another goofy project.

(He will, too.  Because he loves me, crazy projects and all.)


  1. What great ideas! So clever! I think you did a fabulous job!

  2. That lamp is seriously the coolest thing ever!

  3. Love the lamp! Gives the place so much charm :)

  4. I like the lamp, but I LOVE the bouquet. I'm trying to get my husband to build me a steampunk lamp...

  5. I love the lamp! Cello is my favorite favorite, it's such a beautiful instrument. Even if I do play viola, I adore cellos.

    1. But at least as violists we get to steal all their repertoire!

    2. *yoink*! Haven't found my shoulder rest, or book of Bach Unaccompanied either, since we moved. Just went looking this weekend, too. D'oh.

  6. This friend of a friend makes and sells lamps out of motorcycle parts. So no, I do NOT think your cello lamp and bowquet are wastes of time! I think they're lovely and marketable, if you want them to be!