As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.
Mary Anne Radmacher
I am a self-taught woodworker who is passionate about working with wood and light. I make Handcrafted Wooden Lamps that I hope will go beyond illuminating a space to creating a feeling of warmth, comfort and good cheer.
Though my interest in woodworking goes all the way back to childhood, I began learning the craft in my early forties. I have a tiny, make-shift workshop, and I work with a small collection of hand tools. To me, an exciting outing is a trip to the timber yard, and a day well spent is when I have lost myself for hours in my little workshop.
As a lamp designer and maker, my approach leans towards the natural, frugal, and functional.
I work predominantly with teak wood because of its rich, warm tones. Teak wood has an inherent natural beauty that I love, and every piece of wood has a history. Its unique grains, knots, scars and cracks offer clues about its journey and all that it has lived through. I often look for the misfits and the left-behinds at the timber shop- the odd pieces of wood that don’t get picked up because of some ‘flaw’ or irregularity. I try to use them in ways that highlight rather than conceal these natural features. I avoid using stains or polishes, opting instead for a clear, water-based finish that is safer for the environment and protects the wood while maintaining its natural appearance. I also try to retain existing imperfections like dents, chipped edges or minor cracks that do not compromise the structural stability of the piece.
I am frugal in that I try to use each piece of wood entirely, to avoid or minimize wastage. I select the pieces of wood I want to work with, and develop the design around them in a way that utilizes each piece fully. I often work within self-imposed constraints, such as making a lamp using just a single strip of wood. I am also frugal with respect to my tools and workspace, choosing to work with only a few essential hand tools and not acquiring a new tool until I absolutely cannot do without it.
I prefer making lamps that are more functional than ornamental. I particularly enjoy making multifunctional pieces like a table lamp that holds books, or a floor lamp that is also a side table. Sometimes functionality is enhanced by adding a feature like adjustability. For example, Reflect is a floor lamp that is both height-adjustable and has an adjustable arm. By changing the height and arm position, it can be used for mood lighting, as a light to read by, or even a light to work by if placed suitably near a desk.
I enjoy repurposing and upcycling, and am always on the lookout for old and discarded objects that I can make lamps out of. I hope to create pieces that are unusual yet practical in form and function, and to keep experimenting with joinery as I learn more about it. I hope to make more lamps that incorporate everyday objects in interesting ways. Most of all, I hope to keep trying new things without fear, and to enjoy this journey of discovery and creation.
If you’d like to know more, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org