Driftwood Lamp

This lamp is made from a piece of re-purposed driftwood that I found while walking along the Ohio River during one of my infrequent visits back to my hometown of Newburgh, Indiana. The curve of the wood caught my eye, as it reminded me of the shape of a desk lamp. Motivated to create a memento of the place in which I had grown, I took the piece to the wood shop.

I drilled and milled the upper section of the piece to secure the bright white LEDs and route the wire through to the 12V DC power supply in the base. The driftwood section was then attached to a milled block of clear stained walnut with fasteners seated in a hidden pocket underneath the base. The irregularly shaped driftwood was particularly difficult to machine and required inventive restraint methods while milling of the LED slot.

This project forced me to use familiar machining equipment in unfamiliar ways, helping me better understand the limitations of milling tools and raised my awareness of the importance of designing for manufacturability. It was also so incredibly exhilarating to look at the finished lamp and feel emotional attachment to something that I had almost overlooked on the river bank weeks earlier.

Because hindsight is 20/20, I should have spent more time finessing the exposed wiring. Admittedly, I cut corners when deciding how to manage them and regrettably used electrical tape to wrap the wires instead of a more visually appealing option.