Colander cylinder lamp front side by JT Narris | upcycleDZINE

A colander is a kitchen utensil, traditionally used for straining food. Colanders come in many different shapes, styles, and sizes. These days, colanders are not only used for straining food but old ones can also be used for upcycling. They make great lamps because they give off a soft filtered light due to all the little holes with the light peaking through.

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Scrapyard treasures

The main idea behind these colander lamps is that they are made out of discarded items found in dumps or scrapyards. The basic notion is that these items would have gone to waste if someone didn’t come along and salvage them, which makes them “treasures” in their own right! We use the word “treasure” because we think these pieces shouldn’t be overlooked or discarded out of hand because they don’t seem like anything else.

Colander cylinder lamp with amazing shadows by JT Narris | upcycleDZINE

Upcycling a colander

The idea of a scrapyard treasure is kind of funny. The word “scrap” is often associated with something that has no value or worth. And yet, these pieces can be transformed, upcycled into furniture and decorative pieces that add life and personality to any space.

An example of upcycling is this intriguing colander lamp with a North-African vibe to it. This one is by John Narrin from the USA. He shows us what he did by upcycling a colander into a table lamp. So how did he come to create his upcycling lamp?

Colander cylinder lamp close-up by JT Narris | upcycleDZINE

John: “One never leaves the scrapyard empty-handed..or at least I never have. One of the end results of regular junkets to the scrapyard junk pile is my shadow casting, aluminum, stainless steel and steel, round punch pattern, ventilation grating, and colander cylinder lamp. The base is a disk brake from a moped, the feet are scrapped, stainless machine shop rejects (I didn’t think so!). The cap is a scrapped, folding colander I pop-riveted into the desired configuration. The fringe was discarded cutout copper alloy and, of course, the body of my piece is hand-cut (with tin snips) aluminum vent grating that had to be resurfaced with the Ole Angle Grinder. For additional effect and quite a bit of additional difficulty, I fabricated an inner cone; to create a wee geometric moire. My tool selection is limited, so this detail was harder than anticipated. No doubt about it! Except for a new, ceramic socket, a couple of lamp parts (not the cord/switch), and pop-rivets, this piece is 100% scrap material, hand-picked by yours truly.“

Colander cylinder lamp by JT Narris showing all the holes | upcycleDZINE
Photos © JT Narris

It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, you have to agree that it is quite a creative and original lamp. And it proves once again that many objects can be given a valuable second life through upcycling.

Design by John Narrin

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