Adrian Lawson: Upcycled Wood Lamps made with recycled Venetian window blinds
Adrian grew up on the West Coast of Scotland on a small remote island with a population of roughly one hundred people. During his youth, the island was lucky to get three ferries per week and the cost of freighting was expensive. Difficulties such as this forced people to improvise by reusing and recycling in order to get by, a culture which had a profound effect on Adrian’s design philosophy and is still one of his clearest memories from his childhood.
After moving to Australia in 2009 Adrian became aware when he was removing some old blinds from his house that the good quality wooden Venetian blinds were going to be discarded and end up in the landfill. Around the neighborhood, other people were also throwing out their blinds and apart from a bit of wear and tear most of these blinds were in reasonable condition. This started the process of how these wooden blinds could find an alternative use, thus the concept of upcycling them into wood light fittings had begun.
What initially seemed a simple idea soon proved difficult. Most of the blinds he was finding came from different manufacturers who had different specifications and every set had been custom made to suit each house so were different to the next lot. Some had been painted; others finished with oil and all seemed to have different dimensions with their string holes in a variety of places. All of this complicated things because the wood slats all had to be machined to a standard size to make a commercially viable product. Adrian’s first thought was to use a company with a CNC (computer numerical controlled) router to cut and shape the slats however this proved impossible because they were too small and narrow to clamp down onto the machine. This problem led him to invent and build jigs to process them accurately and efficiently which he now does in his own workshop. The jigs allow wood slats up to 2.5mts long to be processed so if he finds very long blinds it means longer light shades can be produced. This concept will eventually allow for tall floor lamps and table lamps to be produced.