Fabrication Is Difficult to Do Well, or, A Trash Can Lamp.

I wanted to make a beautiful cylinder of sanded, polished wood, shorter than it was wide, into a battery powered lamp, turning our first fabrication project of creating a duct-taped circuit-style flashlight on its head and instead create something of quality, with heft. Grace of form.  A spare Noguchi-inspired shade. Underneath concentric rings of delicate pink, amber, blue gels. 

...So...didn't turn out like that.  I looked for turning wood for too long without succeeding in buying anything.  Also turns out I needed to know how to lathe and I don't. Yet.

I decided to prototype the form. 

I used a clear acrylic pipe-coupler-type cylinder.  It didn't occur to me to have them cut it there. I spent a lot of time on, and needed help, using a hacksaw and handscrew clamps to do it myself - it was brittle.  Rotary sanding the ends was interesting.  In trying to drill a hole to accommodate the switch I cracked the acrylic tube.  

In switching to a tube from a solid cylinder I realized I needed a good way to hold the circuitry in place. I used a mesh and the rim of an aluminum sieve.  The only aspect of my iteration I favored was the hand-sanding of the acrylic to give it a beach-washed glass look. I also kind of liked the concept I came up with of using netting to cradle the innards.  

If I were to attempt another iteration of this lamp I would start with a foam block and rough it out or I would settle for an imperfect but nicely rounded blob of wood before tackling the lathe.

It was a humbling experience.  Technique, experience, know-how, planning are important. Throwing lots of time and money at something at the last minute is no replacement.