I’m Finally Ready To Talk About It (Here’s The Pendant Light Status)

Design

Okay, I’m finally ready to give y’all the scoop on the pendant light that I’m making to go over my desk in the studio. If you’ve been following along, you know that I originally cut, sanded, and primed 1200 wood tasting spoons for this pendant light, and then I painted enough of those spoons in 15 different colors so that the spoons could be hung on 15 different lampshade rings spaced 3/4-inch apart. I attached each spoon with a jump ring through a tiny hole that I drilled in the top of each spoon bowl.

This is what the rings looked like after I had attached all of the spoons and grouped them together to prepare to connect all 15 lampshade rings together to form one funnel-shaped pendant light…

This whole project, from the beginning, has been one process of trial and error after another. So it took forever to get the project to this point where I was ready to put the rings together.

Then figuring out how to attach the lampshade rings together took me ten rounds of trial and error before I landed on the perfect solution for securely attaching the lampshade rings to each other while maintaining the perfect distance between the lampshade rings. Or so I thought. I shared about that entire process here.

But once I spent all that time trying, failing, trying again, failing again, on repeat nine times, and then I spent all that time putting all 15 rings together using what I thought was the perfect method, I stood back and looked at it, and I didn’t like it at all.

Not only was the overall look too long to my eye, but even after all of that trial and error, the final distance between the rings was too much. They needed to be closer together. I couldn’t believe it. After all of that trial and error, and after thinking I had found the perfect solution for the perfect distance, it just wasn’t right.

But I didn’t cry. I didn’t throw a fit. At that point, all I could do was laugh, and try to figure out a solution. I hadn’t come this far, and I hadn’t spent all that time painting spoons, to give up. I was determined to make this work. Being defeated by this light wasn’t even an option at this point.

So I pulled up a ladder, and started removing all of those split rings that I had added between all of the chain links, and then linking the chain links together. Here’s the split ring that I was removing…

And once it was removed, this is what all of the connections looked like. As it turned out, this two-link solution that I thought was too short while working at my work table was actually perfect once the light was hanging from the ceiling…

But at this point, I wasn’t working at my work table anymore. I was removing all of those split rings while standing on a ladder and working on the light while it hung from the ceiling.

Once I got all of those done, it looked so much better, but it was still too long. So I ended up removing the bottom two rings altogether. So now, instead of 15 colors, the light had 13 colors. But the shape and the proportions looked so much better to my eye.

But here’s the clincher. Once I had the spacing of the lampshade rings right, and the proportion of the pendant light correct, I started spacing out the spoons the 3/4-inch that I had planned, only to realize that the spacing was way too far. With them spaced 3/4-inch apart, the whole thing looked way too sparse. It was at that point that I realized I actually needed double the amount of spoons than what I had painted and prepared.

At that point, the light had defeated me. It won that battle, for sure. It wasn’t going to win overall, but I was done for the time being. For my own mental health, I needed to walk away and focus on other things. And I needed to not talk about this project for a while. And I needed to come to grips with the fact that I needed to paint 850 additional spoons. But I wasn’t ready to jump right into that, so I turned my attention to my desk makeover.

But as I mentioned, my dear friend Lori is in town for a few days. Before she even came, she said that I could put her to work while she’s here. She’d be willing to help me with any project where I needed some extra hands. I had no intention of actually doing that, but when she and my mom came over after our lunch on Wednesday, and I was showing her the progress on my studio, I showed them the pendant light and explained what happened…and what needed to happen to finish the light. And she said, “Well, can’t we help you paint the spoons?”

Thankfully, I already had 450 spoons cut, sanded, and primed. But I needed an additional 400. Lori had plans for breakfast and lunch, so yesterday, after Matt and I finished lunch, I cut handles off of 400 additional spoons, and then sanded them. And just as I finished sanding the very last spoon, my Life360 notification popped up on my phone telling me that my mom and Lori were pulling up in my driveway. The timing was perfect.

So after visiting for a while, we got busy. I didn’t bother priming the new spoons, We had a limited amount of time, and we needed to paint these 850 spoons in 13 different colors.

So the three of us sat/stood around my work table and talked, and talked, and talked, while sanding and painting spoons. So after an hour of sanding, followed by four hours of painting, we had all 850 spoons painted in the 13 colors.

We didn’t get any of the gold done. I’ll have to do that myself. But they saved me hours and hours of work. At this point, the rest of it feels very manageable to me. I don’t have that overwhelmed, defeated feeling anymore. And I loved every minute of being able to spend those hours with two of my favorite people, laughing, talking, reminiscing (Lori and I were roommates for almost two years in our mid-20s, and after I moved to Turkey, Lori was like another daughter to my parents), and having a great time together. So it all worked out in the most beautiful way. I mean, it still remains to be seen if the actual light will work out in a beautiful way, but I have high hopes. And both my mom and Lori said they thought it was going to be amazing when it’s finished. They’re the only ones who have seen it in person so far, and I tend to agree with them. I think it will be amazing. And as of yesterday, we’re no longer on a break, and we’re no longer in a battle. Or if we are, I’ll for sure win this one.

 

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