18 May 2013
Jane Kubiesa brings to light the world of miniature lamps… ...
1. …for Halloween
Whether you’re adding a spooky Halloween touch to your miniature home or creating a witch’s house, a wizard’s castle or an enchanted scene, this scary Jack O Lantern from The Yew Tree would be the perfect finishing touch. Just like a real pumpkin lantern, this mini polymer clay version has a rough, yellow texture to the interior to make it look like it’s just been hollowed out. Each lamp has a hand-carved face to give it an individual expression.
The Yew Tree
Price: £27.55 plus free UK p&p
2. …to burn the candle at both ends
This phrase from the eighteenth century is thought to originate with the humble rush light. Rush lights were the main source of light for all but the richest of homes and were made from reeds covered in animal fat. These kinds of primitive candles could be made at home for no cost, but the down side was that they burned dimly, with a pungent, smoky flame. So for extra brightness, both ends of the rush could be lit but the light would burn out in half the time. Thus the expression originally meant to waste money. To create a 1/24th scale scene from Roman times up until the middle of the twentieth century, Herdwick Landscapes have produced this miniature Rushlight Holder. This non-working lamp includes a traditional holder and rush light, which is held at a 45 degree angle in true period style.
3. …for a church
Designs in traditional church lighting have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. The standard floor-standing or wall-mounted candle holders would be equally at home in a modern setting or in a scene set at the time of the construction of early churches. The 5 Candle Standard from Olde Charm Miniatures is a prime example of a church candelabra. It is hand finished in stained wood and has a cast metal base for extra stability. This mini light is part of a range of traditional wall, ceiling and table lights which could provide the perfect illumination for a Midnight Mass, dream wedding or Sunday service.
Olde Charm Miniatures
4. ...to celebrate 1960s design
Get into the swing of the 1960s by bagging a Warren Richardson Astra Style Floor Lamp. This groovy mini floor lamp could grace the crash pad of any cool cat, mop top or flower child between the boob tube (television) and the teak sideboard. It’s on sale via US company Miniature Cottage and is available with different designs of lampshade and as a table lamp. The design pictured showcases a funky orange and black floral shade, perfect for a 1960s setting.
Warren Richardson @Miniature Cottage
Price (approx.): £20
5. …to indulge in Tiffany style
The name Tiffany is synonymous with style and elegance. Jewellery lovers around the globe will be familiar with Tiffany & Co, but for fans of interior design it is the founder’s son Louis Comfort Tiffany and his company Tiffany Studios that really made its mark. In the Art Nouveau period these studios produced distinctive lamps made from brightly coloured stained glass set on metal bases. Their intricate shades teemed with flowers, branches, insects and peacock feathers.
The same intricacy of design can be found in the miniature version of this American classic from the artisans at PepperWood Miniatures. Each scale Tiffany lamp has a hand-painted shade and a hand-sculpted base, making each lamp unique. Lamps come in three sizes and each model is a recreation of a real Tiffany light. Styles include red maple, wisteria and laburnum. PepperWood also craft miniature versions of Tiffany stained glass windows.
Price (approx.): from £100
6. …for multi-tasking
This standard lamp from Al’Turn’Ative Proportions not only provides much-needed light for reading or researching, but it cleverly doubles as a step ladder to reach those all-important books and documents from high shelves. It would find a home in a library, music room or study and as each one is a one-off, you can be sure your miniature interior would be unique. Each lamp has a turned wooden base made in ebony, mahogany or European walnut, and each lampshade is different.
7. …for self-improvement
The well-to-do Victorian lady was encouraged to enjoy a range of pastimes to keep her mind healthy and active and to show off her talents within the home. These included painting, making albums, sewing, lace making, decoupage, playing the piano, keeping up with correspondence and helping to organise local charity work. When the light faded she wanted to continue her works and that’s where the oil lamp was useful. A pretty oil lamp, like this miniature from Heidi Ott, could be found on any lady’s desk or parlour table surrounded by the accoutrements of her crafts. This one features a decorated glass shade and base and is finished in metal.
8. …to add a touch of neon
Perfect for a 1950s diner, a modern apartment or a shop, this unique dolls house lamp could be just the thing to bring an authentic look to your small scale house or room box. These little neon lights are inspired by vintage tube lights which are shaped to form pictures and words. Lit neon signs were first available in America in the 1920s but found real popularity in the fifties. They were used for advertising and were common both inside and outside of businesses that had wares to sell.
Miniature lighting specialists Lumenations By Mr K have almost a hundred mini neon signs in their collection and they welcome custom orders. These lit signs come in many designs featuring words and/or pictures and include brand names and a range of food advertising. Signs are made to order in the USA and examples include the words burlesque, open, fire exit, diner, disco and ATM.
Lumenations By Mr K
Price (approx.): £34
9. …for task lighting
In designing a real scale home interior, task lighting is key to making every room work exactly the way you want it to and the same principle applies in miniature. While a ceiling light may be used to illuminate a space, task lighting is used to light a selected part of a room to make particular tasks easier for the miniature inhabitants. This kind of lighting is usually added later on in the decorating scheme once areas have been designated to certain activities and it helps to add realism to a scene. Task lighting could include illuminating a mirror for shaving or applying make-up, adding a lit fire to allow for a gentleman’s late night reading, installing lights above a kitchen worktop or fitting a desk lamp for perusing paperwork. The Directional Half-domed Table Lamp from The Dolls House Emporium fits the bill for this purpose. It has a metal finish for the contemporary mini interior and its domed shade and directional head means it can be pointed directly at books or paperwork for perfect task lighting. It also comes in a floor lamp version.
The Dolls House Emporium
10. …to create modern art
Modern art comes in all shapes and sizes and can be used as a focal point in almost any room of the home. Prized works are often lit to show them off to their full advantage and take centre stage in a room. Now your miniature home can own its very own piece of modern art thanks to artisan Peter Tucker’s range of illuminated and sculptural lamps. The Satellite (pictured) features brass, chrome and silver plating and comes in three different versions. Other models include ones in contemporary, Arts and Crafts and Art Deco styling, with names such as skyscraper, icicle and shepherd’s crook.
Price (approx): £156
© Jane Kubiesa 2013 Images by suppliers and Jane Kubiesa
This feature was originally published in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Or better still take out a subscription so you never miss an issue. For fans of Facebook and Twitter, or to email, print or comment on the feature, please use the buttons above to share with your friends.
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