Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Manual dexterity

I am not a practical person. I could no more get a job as a handyman than I could get a job as a wet nurse.

Still, it's nice to get off my arse and try stuff from time to time.

This particular experiment started at Wilkinsons. We went to buy hair dye, but I stubled upon the dylon, and, nostalgic for the wall hangings of my youth, I bought 3 packets of dye. Bright yellow, Flamingo pink, and Ocean blue.

Bren supplied an old cotton sheet and after some deliberation, I turned it into six 2 foot square pieces of fabric. I then did various things, and ended up with 6 pieces of tie dyed fabric. This actually worked reasonably well.

After more thought and discussion, I got Bren to sew them together, but the resultant tube was huge and unweildy. So she was sent back to her sewing machine to make it into a smaller tube, using just 4 of the panels.

Then it was time to show my ineptness at woodwork. I made some appropriately sized triangels of bamboo, and also got some hazel poles of the right length.

A thick wire was threaded throught the top and bottom of the tube, and the elements were brought together.

the resultant structure was extremely unstable. The slippy bamboo poles wanted to slip and twist, and the twine used to bind the things was crap. I finally got it to resemble a lamp sufficiently to try putting a light inside.

then, disaster struck! The flimsy structure twisted! The jute ties loosened! And our hours of work we all for nought!

The simple act of making a simple lamp, with shade had resulted in tears, a house turned upside down, and it still wasn't fit for purpose.

Further angst resulted when, in a fit of pique, I gently kicked the fallen, twisted thing, and one of our bamboo triangles, that Bren had struggled manfully with for a long time, became unattatched from itself. She complained that it was unfair, and she was right.

But the bamboo was the problem. I needed to make something of a fresh start.

I made new triangles by sawing more of the hazel poles, and these were far less slippery. Still the whole structure was constantly attempting to twist.

So in the end I deliberately twisted it. The top was rotated 180 degrees, so that the poles came together half way up the structure. these were lashed together firmly and the fabric tube was lowered over the structure.

So now I had a frame consisting of two triangle, one in direct opposition to the other, about 4 feet apart. The result was twisted but stable.

Stable enough to place lights inside and take some pictures.

But it is a work in progress. I want to untwist it, and make it stable by adding a third lateral triangle about half way up.

But not tonight.

No comments: