The Light Fantastic

Lamps and lamp shades made by artisans are a great way to add light and beauty while supporting the local arts community.Many things come together to set the mood in a room. Paint choices, furniture styles, carpeting versus hardwood, drapes, and many other details, both small and large, all contribute to whether a room is cozy, formal or anywhere in between.How you choose to light a room matters just as much. Choosing a lamp or lamp shade from a local artist is a great way to incorporate beauty, functionality and uniqueness to your home. Luckily, New Hampshire boasts a number of artisans who offer a wide range of lamps -- from the organic wooden creations by Peter Bloch to the modern and graceful glass Samara pendants and wall sconces by Derek Marshall, there is something for every style of room.The Samara pendant light (pictured on previous page) is new from Derek Marshall Lighting, and is meant to be paired with a similarly designed wall sconce (the sconce is 18 inches long, five inches wide and extends just over three inches from the wall).Inspired by natural elements, specifically winged seeds, the pendant light is three petals of glass held together with stainless steel screws. With a dedicated down-light, light is diffused dramatically through glass.For a completely different but no less beautiful look, artisan Peter Bloch turns incredible lamp shades from wood, and each one is its own unique work of art.The lamp pictured on the previous page is truly a piece of nature transformed into a functional object, complete with visible insect tunnels that allow little pinpricks of light to shine through.Artist Richard Foye uses the complicated and exciting process of Raku, where the piece is removed from the kiln at an extremely high temperature and then placed in a container filled with straw or paper -- fire and smoke then create intricate and surprising designs.From interpreting nature to transforming natural elements, each style of lighting offers a unique way to incorporate art into your home.Derek Marshall Lighting, 85 Upper Rd., Sandwich (800) 497-3891, www.derekmarshall.comPeter Bloch, 26 Otterville Rd., New London (603) 526-6152, www.woodshades.comRichard Foye, South Newfane, Vt. (802) 348-7927, www.rockriverartists.comTips for Lighting Your HomeLike moths to a flame, lighting has an almost magnetic pull, drawing your eye to a space. The power of lighting cannot be minimized. Proper lighting is one of the most effective ways to provide high impact at low cost.There are primarily three different types of lighting: Task Lighting for reading, kitchen prep areas and mirrored vanities. Be certain to position lighting so your body does not shadow your work area. Ambient Lighting creates warm accent lighting by use of portrait lights, track lights, cove or kick strip lighting, sconces, and plant up-lights. General lighting provides overall fill-light by using recessed overhead canisters or ceiling mounted fixtures.Create a combination of all three lighting types. An average size room requires four to five light sources. Dark walls absorb more light, so you may want to add lighting or increase bulb wattage.Choose warm, flattering tints of bulbs in social areas and over mirrors. Use three way bulbs and rheostats (dimmers)for controlling the amount of light. Make use of timers and motion detectors on outdoor lights to save energy and increase bulb life for fewer changes.Consider using long-lasting compact fluorescents (CFLs), and light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs). As of yet, there are no LED bulbs for outdoor use, and the CFL ballast is temperature-sensitive and not recommended for cooler climates.Ask your local health department how to dispose of used bulbs properly due to the mercury Diane Kelley, DK, (603) 969-9054
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