When my daughter, Katie, and I moved into our new studio and office location, we were surprised by the size of the space we had. When everything is under construction, things look quite different. The finished interior—all white and empty—made us wonder just how to colour it up!
Our unit has two floors, with an atrium in the middle and an open stairway to the upper level. One of the “surface designs” we created is made up of funny outer-space characters, so we wondered if it would be possible—instead of installing the usual kind of light fixture—to hang a spaceship in the atrium. Through an interior decorator, we were connected to a wonderful team of sculptors on Granville Island, who specialize in large outdoor art installations.
Mike Vandermeer and Cheryl Hamilton at ieCreative can make anything! I took them a sketch of a spaceship with a character inside, and asked if it would be possible to build a 3D model and if it could light up! Always up for a challenge, Mike and Cheryl have built and installed the most wonderful sculpture. It looks exactly like my original sketch!
It’s about 4 feet in diameter, and has a plexiglass dome on the bottom in which you can see tentacles. As you ascend the stairs, you can see the goofy alien inside. He sits in control of his flying saucer, grinning ear to…well, he has no ears.
The finished lamp
My 5-year-old grandson has named our alien “Beep-Bop”. Fortunately the lamp is silent—but it does change colour! Mike created a system which allows a soft, glowing light to shine in a series of brilliant colours. The whole thing lights up my day. We wanted to show you our new sculpture–just to let you see what can be done when you get a bunch of funny folks together with an idea, some resources, and some skillful engineering.
Michael and Cheryl carefully assemble the lamp
Getting it into place!
The lamp in blue
The lamp lit up in pink
Katie and I are looking forward to working with Mike and Cheryl again…we just have to come up with another crazy idea!!
As you can see, she's commissioned a novelty LED fixture designed to appeal to the slightly slow-witted kid in her. To her, a mildly whimsical and extremely personal means of lighting up her room is a marvel of the age, not the goofy thing it is to us. That being said, it's also tribute to what competent people can do with an idea of hers without her interfering and messing it up. The Farley plushie and kids' books would be roaring successes if she hadn't have got in the way.