Light of our life.
Anna and I are always on the look out for ‘things’, objet d’art, something lovely that catches our eye. Whether it’s for work, sourcing for a particular client or generally just out, our eyes are always skimming.It’s a bug that I have certainly caught from my father who I adore and is an avid antiques collector.
One vivid memory I have from when I was a little girl was when he said, ‘if you are going to start collecting something make it small enough so that it can fit into your pocket, that way you should be able to afford it and you can also bring it home’. Those words have resonated with me and I have passed onto my own children. One son is currently collecting Dinosaurs Attack trading card series by Topps, which were released in 1988 – and they just about fit into his pocket!
So soda siphon bottles are totally iconic to me and very much at the heart of many memories. I visualise someone pouring a club soda or mixing a Tom Collins. Also remembering back to the classic black and white films like Casablanca and Citizen Cane where they are used for a splash of soda with so much theatre and panache.
I instantly fell in love with them and I thought they’d look super at home as a decorative piece. Once they arrived I was reminded just how beautiful they are. With their different etchings, and the beautiful fluting on the glass. They were sitting on my shelf gorgeous in their own right when that ‘lightbulb moment’ (excuse the pun) came to me. I thought how about converting them into a light. So my next mission was to find someone to do just that. This wasn’t easy but after much squirrelling around on google I came across Rob from Laurie Lamps and low and behold he was just down the road from me.
The stars were aligned…. I didn’t realise at the time that this was a very skilled and technical job. Rob explained to me that taking the plastic head off the siphon without it breaking the neck of the bottle was quite a challenge. As well as cleaning all the residue from all the old water. Anna and I carefully choose the brass cabling, and took time to consider, all the detailing down to the little bung cover at the base where the cable leaves the bottle.
This is so important to us as a business as we want all our products to function and equally look stunning and pass the AB seal of approval.
But I wasn’t quite prepared for just how stunning they were going to turn out. Rob had worked his magic in every way, the glass was sparkling so all the details and markings became really clear and they just looked fantastic.
One cannot find millions on the high street so this makes them truly unique. We love a little history and story behind our products and these we feel truly encompass our AB USP – Style with a Story.
We think the siphons, are both simple and stunning at the same time. They don’t impose on a space but command it. Beautiful in their own right alone, great as a bedside table or an occasional light, and just gorgeous as pair. These lamps suit any room and are incredibly versatile in look depending on the shade that you decide to use. More exciting news on lamp shades and where to get them to follow soon in our future blogs. Watch this space.
I know I’m biased but Anna and I do love our soda siphons and sure you will too.
Each lamp has been PAT tested and approved. The B22 bayonet fitting has the option to accommodate a lampshade.
Standard size. Dimensions: 41 x 8 x 8 cms (with bulb) 31 x 8 x 8 cms (without bulb) only Brivtic and Rawlings available
New larger size. Dimensions: 42 x 10 x 10 cms (with bulb) 33 x 10 x 10 cms (without bulb)
Peter Walker and Company, Cantrell & Cochrane Club, and Hooper Struve are the marks available.
Now before I go I just thought it would nice to know a little bit more about Rob @laurielamps so I asked him a couple of questions. Perhaps at a later date I could persuade him to do a live chat with us on instagram?
- Tell us about you and what was the first spark (excuse the pun) that made you start up your business?
I got inspired to make lamps when we moved house a few years ago. In visiting lots of antique fairs and junk shops to furnish our house, I discovered a treasure trove of objects that I thought would make amazing lamps. It started as a hobby but I quickly began making them for friends and family as well. Then after a short dabble into the world of landscaping I decided to ditch the spade and go full time with the lamps.
- What work is involved when converting our soda siphon bases into lights.
They can be tricky little buggers, First you have to wrestle with taking off the tops, which can be surprisingly hard but once you have done a few you can get the knack of it (quick tip, not only for undoing soda syphons but anything tricky – try adding a bit of heat with a heat gun or hairdryer, usually helps loosen things up a bit) Secondly, drill holes in the glass with a diamond drill bit with lots of running water to keep it cool. Glass must be ground not cut, so you need to let the diamonds slowly grind through the glass. Then, clean them out, some old bottles will have very bad water marks etched on the inside by limescale which can never be cleaned out. One solution is to spray the inside with a clear lacquer. Finally wire up the lamp, PAT test and your ready to go!
- Your top tip for purchasing a lamp?
Be bold and adventurous, light is one of the most important aspects of a room, so I always like statement pieces.
- We would love a recommendation of something to read, a book or blog or even a podcast to listen to, as we fell escapism is more important than ever at the moment?
I recently read the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown, which I absolutely loved, it’s about the art of doing less but better. The conversations of inspiration podcasts is also a great listen. It is about entrepreneurs and their businesses and how they started them. Good for a bit of motivation if you’re starting your own business. Finally I love reading cook books one of my current favourites is Trullo.
- What is the first thing you plan to do as soon as the lockdown is lifted?
Have a party and hug everyone!
So a huge thanks to Rob, for working so brilliantly bringing our siphons a beautiful new lease of life.
Finally an interesting tip: Did you know? Apparently If you use club soda to replace water or milk in your dough and batter recipes, the results will yield an airier product. Who doesn’t like fluffy pancakes and waffles?
With much love Annie x