Friday, June 8, 2012

Lamps and Lights

On Sunday, I packed up some of the stuff I wanted to get rid of and headed up to Maine to see if any of the antique stores wanted to buy it or take it on consignment.  What a great idea!  I sold everything at the first store and did much better than I would have at a yard sale.

And, of course, I couldn't leave without a few things.  I've been looking for lamps so not only was I immediately attracted to the color of this pair of 1931 Pisgah Pottery jars (above), I think they could make awesome lamps.  I don't know anything about Pisgah Pottery other than it's from North Carolina but a pristine pair seemed really unusual so I couldn't resist.

I stopped by Old House Parts in Kennebunk to look at door knobs and left with this aqua door.  I'm not 100 percent sure what I'm going to do with it but I couldn't pass up that paint color.  It could be a table top or I thought it would be an interesting way to unite a few small pieces of artwork.  You might notice I've made a few changes to the guest room.  A friend is giving me a pair of chairs for the living room so I moved the living chair upstairs which is a nice, softer chair for the bedroom.

I also came home with this (perhaps) chain off some kind of conveyor belt.  I thought this could be used to make a chandelier, only a really butch version.  A mandelier!

I thought if I copied a very traditional form but used the chain as the material for a ring from which crystals hung, it could make a really interesting twist on a traditional light fixture.  

To get some ideas, I thought I would head out to the country for some inspiration to a place where local designer Katie Rosenfeld says all your lighting dreams can come true.  I packed up my car for the journey...a few bags of trail mix just in case I got lost and headed out to:

357 Commonwealth Avenue
Wayland, Massachusetts 

Here, way out in the boonies, is the most charming red farmhouse with an old-fashioned workshop in the back.  Burly dudes in place at their anvils, hammering, creating and restoring the most beautiful selection of antique light fixtures I've ever seen in one place. 

If ever there was place that could make a mandelier, it's this place.

Out back in the barn, ponies whinney, and two large floors are packed with chandeliers, pendants, sconces, lamps, glass shades and hardware.  

It's hard to get the scale but these two fixture above were probably six feet tall.

This little gothic pendant caught my attention.  I've always been attracted to church lights, crosses, religious statues for some reason.  (Nun in another life?)  But I also have a similar fixture I bought a few years ago in Maine and just never knew where to put it.  This fixture was $1799!

I couldn't wait to get home and dig mine out.  I like mine better.

Glad it didn't make it to the donate bin!

Upstairs in the barn is...just...amazing.

Your presence is detected and...

...hello!  Everything lights up at once.

So beautiful.

These fixtures are handmade at Yankee Craftsman.  I think these would be perfect
flanking the doors on my back porch when those get rebuilt.  And the prices are reasonable.

I really loved this collection of bowl pendants.  I'd love to have a huge dining room that could accommodate maybe five of them hung at different heights.  I'm sure they're quite heavy but they just give off this buoyant feeling.  Like hot air ballons floating in space.

I have some ideas for my mandelier but I need to do some drawings and look for some more parts.  But I'll definitely be back here to have them execute my vision.


  1. Mandelier!!! I love it. Can't wait to see your design. The aqua door is really nice too. I like it just leaning there.

  2. I cannot believe no one has come up with Mandelier before. Perfect! Really!
    I would LOVE to go shopping with you - you always see the coolest stuff.

  3. turquoise door.....check
    pottery to be lamps.......check
    chain for lighting......check

  4. Love your turquoise finds and that barn is unreal. What a treasure trove for sure. Hugs, Marty

  5. Those jars and that door are perfect! I'm so jealous of your abundance of neat places to visit.

  6. Steve, I adore the door! I think you hit the jack-pot. I can't wait to see the finished projects. Bonnie

  7. Great finds. I am totally in love with the door! and the Pisgah jars! Would love to know where you got them. Once I close my store I can go antiquing on my weekends.

  8. Hi Steve, great finds and I am so impressed by your cat's star quality. I'm running out to Russell's Garden Center in Wayland tomorrow and will definitely stop at that red barn: I have hated the waterford chandelier in my dining room for years!

  9. Every time you take a road trip I have to extend my someday-I'll-get-there trip to New England!

    I love your new finds. The door reminded me of the little chest I last remember seeing in your upstairs hall but tracking back to the color capture app post it looks greener. but still that wonderful crusty patina.

    I'm glad you didn't show what you got rid of, might have broken my heart!

  10. What an adventure. I am going to move to New England, that's it! Too much good decorating. So pleased you sold your stuff in Maine - I would love to find a good home for some piles of stuff. I just love that door and like it just where it is. The soft chair looks so good in the room. I am very fond of that chair.
    I love the lighting store and those white bowl pendants. I think they were originally used in foyers (I could be wrong) but I have been trying to find one for my master bedroom. The only place online I can really find them is custom at Rejuventation, so I would have enjoyed looking at these with you...!

    Now the mandelier...your style has a masculine edginess to it sometimes and I think this is going to be a very interesting project!!

  11. First thing I thought of when I saw the chain? Dinosaur bones!
    Also, love the aqua door. Leaning against the wall is nice.

  12. Beth,
    I can see that. Kind of like vertebrae!

  13. Wow!! I would have loved tagging along on your trip! Love your taste! Not sure about turning those pots into lamps though....I love em as pots. NC is pottery capital of US....if you ever get a chance to go to's pottery heaven.
    go to
    someone there can tell you more about your pots I am sure. The color is so gorgeous!

  14. Gorgeous pottery and door... can't wait to see what you wind up doing with these things!

  15. holy mandalier! i think that would be awesome. those jars are amazing (lamps or not.) what a beautiful part of the country that workshop/store is located. have a great weekend.

  16. Isn't it funny how you find treasures in similar colors on the same day? Some antiquing days are just like that. Gorgeous finds and I love the idea of the mandelier!

  17. Great photography to match your editorial! I feel like I was on the road trip with you.
    It makes me appreciate the homeless stuff in my barn attic, too.
    Nice to see things through other creative eyes.

  18. That door is just the bomb! It IS art! Love all your photos too...just makes me crazy to drive through that area!

  19. Bastard...that old door belongs to me and you know it. Those are my colors so ship it to me right this very second.
    And another thing...that is a cool store. Can't wait to see the re-purposed light fixture.

  20. Hey Steve - Totally crushing on your aqua door. F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S color and patina!! I love it leaning just like that. And, those are some serious chain links....can't wait to see what you do with it. Must be really heavy?? I'm thinking a need a mandelier, too ;-)

  21. I'd leave the door right where it is... It's perfect... Can't wait to see what you do with the ceramic jars. Hope you end up with coolie hat style lamp shades...

    Yankee Craftsman... They are soooo good!!! IF you;re in to wrought iron, on your next trip, call ahead and drop by Hammersmith Studios in Concord. Incredible!!!


  22. Mandolier=awesomeness! Can't wait to see that executed.

    That pottery is gorgeous. Lamps or not, you made the right call with those beauties.

    We actually have three old doors from hubby's life when he lived in Santa Fe. I sanded one until I hit that gorgeous aqua-and stopped. It lives in our dining room, just leaning against the wall.

    Another blue one is in the garden-it's the backdrop for our "Tiki-man" wooden statue thingy-another treasure of hubby's.

    The third is still in the garage, waiting for it's turn to grace our abode.

    Looking forward to seeing where all your goodies wind up in your house!

  23. The door color is perfect in the guest room; I love those pottery lidded jars. Your church pendant is stunning and far nicer than anything in the lighting shop, except perhaps for the crystal embellished 6-ft chandelier in the shape of a hot air balloon.

  24. J'adore the door! Can't wait to see your house featured in the magazine!

  25. A mandelier? I'm dying. What a perfect name. I'm jealous over all your finds. I've driven by that gorgeous red barn and always wanted to stop. Now I need to go find it again. What an amazing place. Now get going on that mandelier so we can enjoy it too!!

  26. I have some lamps made from pottery too. I think the shades are all wrong. I'd love a tutorial on proper lamp shades.

  27. Oh La La, or eee! as we say in New Mexico. Wish you lived closer so I could borrow your Gothic pendant to hang in Dumbldore's office for Harry Potter Camp. I second Lynn. A tutorial on choosing and sizing lampshades would be nice if you have nothing else to do! Oh wait...I am nagging you to create more paintings.

  28. I'm crazy for lighting stores and this looks like a great one. I love those pots you bought and the door...seems you are in a turquoise mood! I took some of my things to an antique store to sell them not too long ago and they said for me to not hesitate to come back with things.

    Can't wait to see how you make your mandolier!

  29. Boy when you post you pack a big punch.

    I just want to gather up those jars and hug them.

    I'll be around the first week in July if you want to get rid of the door.

    If you were a nun in a former life you knew me as Peggy and I bet I was in trouble with you.

    xo J.

  30. Jeez, you really DO live in the best part of the country.
    Love the lighting place.
    Wish you would have included photos of the burly dudes.
    Your door and the color of it is perfection.
    I have an old door that I have outside, laid over a table that I'm painting projects on top of....
    Hmm, maybe I could bring it back in and use it as a Modern piece.

  31. Steve,
    How marvelous of you to take us along in your pocket and to let us help you find some treasures. It is funny how things we part with just make room for more.
    Love the pottery jars.
    Love that blue door (and kitty)
    Love all those fixtures.....
    Love your vision.

  32. A great posting, and my favorite part was your gothic lamp — I can't believe that you had it hidden away!! Those blue jars are very handsome — their glaze looks as though it could be several hundred years old!

  33. Steve,
    Had I known you were nearby I would have made a beeline to the YC to visit...
    Glad you finally made it there, enjoyed the brothers, the bar and you said nothing of the taxidermy...?
    Maybe you were blinded my the lights...

  34. Oh that lamp barn is heaven. I would love to find a p lace like that in Virginia-surely there must be one.
    I love your finds!

  35. Those Pisgah pottery jars are breathtaking. Thanks for the jolt of beauty.

  36. The pottery is deliciously blue as is the door. However I can't help but feel you have opened a whole new door in interior design with your 'mandelier'!

  37. I love the turquoise pots and door. It's a colour I'd find hard to find a place for in my grand scheme, but I do like it very much.

    Now, just to show my dorky side, go to the picture of the chain and scroll quickly up and down over it. I SWEAR IT MOVES LIKE IT'S ALIVE !!! heh heh heh

  38. Ooooh cannot wait to see what you do with your 'off the chain" chandy!

    You so clever.


    Love the turquoise pots....Yumza.

    Whatcha' cookin lately?

  39. Steve,
    I LOVE those jars! Color is great, they're very organic. And, I thought that chain you bought was another great piece of art that you'd come across. I guess that's what happens when you look at the pictures first then read the post. And I'd love a lampshade cheat sheet too!

  40. The Pisgah Forest pottery is gorgeous. Highly collectible; everyone loves the turquoise color with the pale pink throats. PF also made pots in a lovely dark purple color. I would never, however, defile these two pieces by turning them into lamps; they are far too beautiful to mess up in any way.

  41. I love the color of the pottery and door you brought, gorgeous. I love that when you decide to go you just go sounds like fun, I need a drive. I can't wait to see your ideas for your mandelier!


  42. If anything in lighting needs to seriously make a comeback, it's bowl pendants! Good luck with your mandelier, looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  43. Looks fantastic, so glad you liked the pillow! I love that shade of turqoise, the cat is a perfect touch.

  44. Mandelier - love it! Those jars will make wonderful lamps! Lots of pottery comes from NC. 1931 - even better.

  45. Couldn't help but to laugh at myself when I saw your version of the gothic pendant. As soon as I saw it, I thought 'medieval instrument of torture' bahaha. Oh, my wicked, twisted sense of sight!

  46. For some great handmade "mandeliers" (!) check out for some rather manly but elegant chandeliers and candelabras....