1st Cow, 2nd leather couch, 3rd leather lamp shade. 1st Chicken, 2nd Food, 3rd Lamp base.
While driving around my city the most common thing I see being thrown out are couches and other furniture. Reupholstering old furniture can bring a tattered couch back to life but many opt out of that and just buy a new one. My idea was to reuse the tattered, old material to create a lamp that has characteristics and looks of an old, used item, but be transformed an item that shines some light on the waste of product obsolescence.
My lamp shows the idea of extreme recycling, the idea that what we throw away can be used to create something new. By using the faux leather I was able to create a texture on the shade similar to the skin, and by painting it a tanned colour I was able to create a scarily similar recreation of human skin. By adding folds and tearing the top of the shade to make it irregular adds a bit of personality to the shade, something that would make it unique.
The idea of extreme recycling is an interesting, what are the limits of recycling? What are the moral problems of reusing something that was once living? Should there be a limit of how many times something can be used?
Step 1: Shaping "Leather"
I made a ring out of wire for the base of the faux leather cone. I then wrapped the edge around the wire and hot glued it in place. The faux leather was then shaped and folded into a cone shape. The top was then roughed up and weathered; a stitch was added for extra character and to follow the original design.
Step 2: Leg Bones
Preparing the bones so they appear pure white, the chicken was boiled so the meat would fall off easier, they were then bleached dipped twice and rinsed off with water and left to dry in the sun. The bones where used as a structural support for the lamps base as well as a shadow feature.
Step 3: Lighting It Up
The LED strip was wrapped around a small pencil and hot glued into place. By doing this the light will be distributed around more evenly. One LED was positioned directly up so that it would clearly cast a shadow of the protruding bones on the ceiling.
Step 4: Turn It On
The cone was placed on top of the bone base and hot glued in place; the bones on top of the cone were then added. To age the lamp I painted the faux leather and used a soldering iron to add some wrinkles. After the paint had dried I buffed some areas so that it would look like it had been used for some time previously. I added the LEDs in and hot glued them in place, soldered the wires and connected the batteries.
Step 5: Materials and Life Cycle
Dimensions: 34cm High, 17cm Wide, 17cm Deep
Materials and Life Cycle:
Faux Leather also known as vegan leather, fake leather or pleather can be made a variety of ways, most commonly though the fake leather is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and other fibres to give it strength. Fake leather takes five hundred years to break down.
Bones may take hundreds of years to break down if left undisturbed depending of a number of factors. The use of real chicken bones in my lamp matched with the fake leather so makes the statement of Third Life predominant.
Wire is used in the lamp as structural support, the wire was also found while looking through hard rubbish. This wire would take up to a year to break down in the environment.
Old paints that I found were used to weather my lamp, making it look older and used, almost as if it was found and used many years ago.
Hot glue is used to stick my lamp together; using hot glue was a choice I made due to the difficulty of stitching the faux leather together. The transparency of the glue is also a design choice so that it did not create shadow on the lamp shade.
Alight emitting diode strip was wrapped around a pencil so that the light was distributed evenly around the whole shade. The pencil was then hot glued into place and electrical wires were soldered onto the LEDs connecting it to a 12 volt battery source.