Monday, August 28, 2017

cloudlight created

cloudlight = a structure to allow electrification of the paper entryway lanterns

I have had this design gradually taking form in my mindseye for a number of years, as a way to add additional ambient light to my poorly-lit living room, ever since our plucky heroine started collecting paper lanterns for the entryway, years ago... Last week, Farbjorn and I worked together to turn the concept into reality:...

A paper pattern, that was initially taped to the ceiling to mark the centers of the lanterns, then had the circumference of the lanterns drawn on each center, then a pleasing shape created to allow for running the cords to the wall. The panel is just under five feet long, and about 2 1/2 feet wide. With undulations. I used up about half a pad of tracing paper to create the pattern, taped together sheet by sheet (annoying but necessary)

Once the design was marked on the 1/4" plywood, Farbjorn used the jigsaw to cut out the stylised cloud shape:

Scraps of 2 x 4 are attached to the ceiling to create a chase between the plywood and the ceiling, to allow space for electrical cords run to each lantern. pretty chuffed that I had almost all the hardware needed for this project here to hand. Little brackets, wood screws, sheetrock screws, and the last of my Big Box of wall anchors.

initial cloudlight panel, with keyhole openings pierced to allow the lamp fixtures to hang below the panel, while disguising the four cords behind a sculptural design. I had recently bought a chicken waterer kit online, that came with a set of hole saws... have yet to put the waterer together, but the hole saw came in right handy for this project! Rather than try for evenly opaque white paint, I decided that layers of thinned white paint in irregular cloudlike shapes would be more interesting visually.

Revised cloudlight panel with shaped layers of additional painted plywood to add extensions that will help obscure the blocking. Sight angles were not something I truly considered with the original design... I had to redesign my concept and add an additional layer of individual cloud panels, due to an error in blocking placement on my part, which meant that it turned from a one day project to a two day project... with luck, the revised design will look turned out to be even more interesting, or at the very least, like "I meant to do that..."

a closer view of one of the painted second layers of the cloudlight panel...

The revised panel, in situ.

four lamp fixture cordsets were fed through the allocated openings in the panel, here awaiting the return of the paper lanterns. It turned out that the keyhole openings worked well enough at holding the cords in place that no additional anchors were needed in that spot to keep the cords at desired length.

paper lanterns in place, waiting for the power strip to be attached to the wall near the lone outlet, on the other side of the big front window...

and... finally... the cloudlight is illuminated!

Whichever direction you look at it, the contuours change...

This shows *where* in Acorn Cottage the cloudlight is located - exactly as I had imagined. It forms a sculptural light installation between the front door and the living room, thus both defining the entry space, and adding a lot of ambient light to the social area of the house, which was in great need of more light.

The paper diffused light, which is much more lambent than the photos show. Eventually I plan to put a long strand of tiny white fairy lights all round just inside the edge of the plywood panel, but that will have to wait until they go on sale.


  1. Your cloudlight is delightful - calming, graceful, and what I appreciate most as the years pass, you accomplished your goal of more light. You are able to imagine and bring to life so many lovely ideas.

  2. So gorgeous, serene, and whimsical! If anyone from the McMenamins art department reads your blog, I suspect they might borrow this idea.

    1. fair enough, as I find most all of their buildings incredibly inspiring!

      ps... good to "see" you here... I miss you