There are many designs that have chosen wood for the same reasons I have, It’s comfortable, strong feel but also its rich colour and texture. There is a definite trend that I’ve unknowingly joined where a clean and pure base or attachment is made tactile by adding a wooden handle. I don’t feel disheartened that similar idea’s exist I feel glad to have come to a decision that many agree with, that wood makes a handle more appealing to the user. Pictures below are from two current designers of kitchenwares that have beautiful designs which incorporate a wooden handle, their designs have been very inspirational to me when designing my own.
Calling the project Basic Series, the designers intended to make a range of kitchen utensils which are strong, sturdy and easy to use. Here is some text from the designers themselves “The series we have developed are basic kitchen utensils concerned with preparing and serving food. It started with a desire to develop a series of sturdy, durable and basic tools for the kitchen, emphasising closeness to food and produce, and ease of use.” American designer Louie Rigano has created a range of teapots that combines mass-produced wooden handles and lids with individual hand-thrown bodies.This is very similar to the manufacture of my lamps in that I’ve combined the mas manufacturing process of 3D printing with a hand crafted, lathed handle.
What I enjoyed about these handle designs is their simplicity along with their strength and tactile feel. I would like to use a darker wood with a hint of red in in such as rose wood or mahogany as they would blend well with the copper strips sitting around the outside of the lamps. These woods also have a pretty grain and are nice to turn on the lathe which is very important as this is how I plan to form their funnel inspired shape in the same way I created the initial wooden models used to cast.
The handles above are designed around their need to chop, lift and seal but the handle of a kettle is s very different style that could also be considered for my lamps. By attaching the handle in this way the lamps would be carried very differently to how they have been in my user tests, the user wouldn’t touch the neck or the of the lamp at all, it would also mean the light could be ‘poured’ in the same style as tea is. What I dislike about a fuller handle is it takes away the sleek lines of the lamp and would mean it no longer stays true to the oust house, funnel shape it was inspired by.
Although I had drawn a variety of concepts for the way the lamps could be handled, I felt the neck of the lamp is what I was initially drawn to holding when I first found the funnel forms and so my handle should also be the neck of the lamps form. To add an individual style to the movable lamps and to create a clear visual language between the user and the design they needed something different about them from the largest static lamp. Wood will help to encourage the users to pick them up and to be handle them along with an added hook so that they feel they can hang them around their home to add light where needed. If the handle was to follow the form of the funnels it would need to be a tapering hollow neck with a hollow circular base. Because it’s tapered all the way along it could be inserted in through the base of the lamp and pushed upward into position where they would shield the electronics and sit neatly in the 3D printed base as this drawing shows.
The drawings basically illustrate the way in which the lamps are assembled where the handle is inserted into the hollow base from the bottom and then the electronics are added. The electronics will then be kept in place by a ring of 3mm acrylic that seals everything in place leaving an opening for the LED.
Whilst sketching my idea’s for the form and workings of the lamp is clear for my understanding I wanted to create some three dimensional drawings that show scale, material and inner structure. These simple drawings are to scale and show the varying materials used for both handle and base they also show the hollow area were the electronics will sit. The benefit of using CAD is it’s quick and simple comunication of ideas, models that take time to create and cost large amounts of money each time can instead be created quickly, evaluated and manipulated with little added cost which is important when my budget was beggining to add up.
What I realised from drawing these models is that there is room to add a disk to support and secure the electronics in the base. This disk would need to be held in place by tiny brakets that make up a twist and lock system, the disk would sit in the rim where the straight sides of the base begin. What I also considerd from these drawings was the possibility of adding a lense right at the base to diffuse light in an interesting way rather than it being a very direct light. This lense would only need to be present in the two smaller lamps as the larger lamp will remain in position at all times. These smaller lamps that are lifted and hung could potentially deliver a wide angled light if a lense was added , this would need further investigation later when a 3D test model was complete of one of the lamps.