|I'm glad I got to contribute to the Yumiverse.|
Besides general DIY enthusiasm for using household items to make things instead of buying them, I went on my oil lamp research and experimentation frenzy because I wake up early in the morning to write (with ink and notebooks from Raw Materials) and for the last 1.5 years I've been buying candles for light. It's becoming less and less necessary as the sun rises earlier and earlier with the onset of summer, but I had just burned down my last candle. Besides, the candles that I had been buying from Trader Joe's gave me a creepy feeling because they're "dripless." Candle wax should drip. It just should. I've since come to understand that the driplessness has something to do with using petroleum in the wax (please feel free to clarify), which only adds to the reasons to embrace oil lamps:
- re-purpose rancid oil that would otherwise be tossed out and wasted
- re-purpose a glass container
- re-purpose 100% cotton t-shirts that are no longer worn (or, are too worn--oh, grammar)
- enjoy lovely, mellow light
In 2008, I experimented with cooking by candlelight, but I never did my morning writing by it because I never woke up so early that I needed to make light for myself. When I began working at East West Players in Fall of 2010, it was dark when I woke up to write. Having a bright light on, even a desk lamp, while writing out my first thoughts of the morning was too much, so I switched to candles. There's something comforting about the dark surrounding me while I write. (Maybe it feels safer to write out the crazytalk that I sometimes fill those pages with?) These are some of the links that I drew from to create my lamps:
- Tactical Intelligence: Homemade Lamps from Everyday Objects
- Modern Survival Blog: Do-It-Yourself Olive Oil Lamp
- Root Simple: The World's First Lamp
- Portugal Small Holding: Make an Oil Lamp with an Orange
***Using 100% cotton for the wicks is very, very important if you don't want the faint scent of burning plastic to tickle your nose. I learned this from experience.
Here are my lamp experiments:
|Glass bottle lamp with paper clip wick holder.|
(bottom is filled with water with green food coloring in it)
|Even prettier from above.|
It's very pretty in these pictures, but unfortunately it was hard to extend the wick when necessary and the shape of the bottle made the flame waver too much while I tried to write. I didn't have too much luck with the hole-in-cap method of wick-holding.
And now, the lamp that I have been using regularly for the last two weeks:
I decided to try turning an ink bottle into a lamp since I had many lying around and I was going on a camping & climbing trip to New Jack City. And, okay, the romance of turning the ink bottle into a lamp by which to write also influenced me. These photos are from the campsite, but I'm still using basically the same setup with the foil in order to maximize the amount of light that falls on the page.
I will probably make more of these because of their nice size and portability. And now that I have a bit more experience, I hopefully won't be quite as messy. I had my first oil-on-notebook mishap a couple of days ago, but never having to buy candles again is so, so worth it. I just need to be more careful. I'll post in more detail about the making of a lamp... someday!
|Ink-bottle Oil Lamp + Foil|
|Steady flame, even with high-desert wind.|