For this project brief, we were instructed to create a set of three objects with the objective of making them all the same, and keeping one, giving one, and putting one for auction at the society for contemporary craft.
To start I made a list if materials and methods of making I wanted to experiment with. I’ve always been very interested in the use of a reed switch because despite of their simple mechanical function, it doesn't limit their potential. Simply put, when the switch comes into contact with a magnet, the circuit closes, allowing whatever is on the circuit to turn be completed. I decided that I wanted to tackle on the challenge of designing a light. immediately I started some rough sketches.
I wasn’t thinking much of material yet, but knew that I was heading towards a cylindrical shape. That centered me towards the method of production of using the lathe. I made some quick concepts on Fusion 360, and some more concept skethes.
After talking to people, a lot of the feedback that I received was that the proportions pushed the light concepts to look too much like pills, or seemed too bottom heavy. Also because I decided to go with a dark wood such as walnut, the contrast was higher, and added weight to the bottom.
To step towards a new direction, I started thinking about the interaction I wanted the user to have with the light. I wanted it to be portable, for the user to carry it care, and for it to have this light/lamp hybridity.
To evoke the feeling of care when holding the lamp, I thought of the same feeling of holding a nest. There is a sense of fragility when holding a nest, despite the fact that it is built extremely carefully, and is very sturdy.
While figuring out the form of the light itself, I took some time to figure out the wiring of the LEDs. I got four 10mm warm white LEDs and wired as following.
When a magnetic ball comes into contact with one reed switch, it lights up one LED, the dim setting, and when it comes into contact with the second reed switch, it lights up three LEDs, the bright setting. I figured out the resistors necessary, and that the best way to wire them would be through a connected circuit. In case on of the LEDs fail, I decided to put brass tubes, since brass is conductive, and you could easily switch out the LED without having to unsolder the LEDs. When the user needs to switch out the battery, which probably won’t be that often, they can remove the compartment holding the wiring and switches. Only the battery can be easily removed, and any 9v battery can be used.
I started prototyping with high density foam, and then once I got comfortable with the lather, I moved on to the walnut block I glued together.
After getting comfortable with the lathe, I produced another bowl that was much rounder and shorter. With some feedback and comparison, I made the final form that was shorter and with a less rounded bottom.
Top of Light
The first SLA white print came out perfect, with no build problems. As we went to print the second one, it kept failing. I then decided to compromise and print it out clear because of the resin’s strong build, and that came out a lot better. Because I still wanted that diffused light, I lightly spray painted the inside, but enough to have the same effect as the first SLA print.
The light put off for auctions ended up being bid on and sold at 120$