The Clamshell Alchemist lamp

This wise and mysterious table lamp is a member of our LightBEAM collection and nurtures a secret cradled in its oak wood shell. By turning its brass handle, a bewitching array of fragmented light spills out as the clam shell slowly opens, revealing a nest of specially commissioned bone china fragments glowing in its midst.

For more info or to order a Clamshell email Dan



For a while now we have been playing around with the idea of encasing a light in some sort of solid container, and opening it very slowly so that glimmers of light are visible through the widening gap, throwing shafts of light into the surroundings. This slow revealing gives a sense of something more inside, like another world, or something precious or alive, and creates a sense of anticipation and a desire to know more. So we took this notion and combined it with the telescoping circular beam structure from the Crane lamp, and added an upward pointing light source in the lower shell which shines through glass marbles or pebbles,  giving a sense of energy and life to this inner space. We also made a hand-beaten copper reflector for the top shell which reflects the light back and forth, mixing it up and giving additional tones, and projects light into the room as the clamshell is opened up wider.

We are very pleased with the way this has all come together and we feel we have created a table lamp with an unusual beauty and intriguing allure. 

The photographs above were taken by Felix Lighting in their showroom in Bath 2015


The LED light source is contained in the lower oak wood clam shell and covered with translucent bone china fragments., specially commissioned from ceramicist Jill Shaddock The upper wooden clamshell acts like a lid and can be raised by turning the mechanical brass handle mounted at the top of the lamp which engages a rack gear and moves the front section of the telescoping frame. Each position of the upper shell produces its own unique lighting effect and geometry and we hope that people will enjoy adjusting the lamp for different times of day, for different occasions or just for the fun of it.

The lamp is turned on and off by toggling the stainless steel push button on the dressed concrete base. The main structure is made from aluminium that has been hard-anodised to produce a beautiful, robust and industrial finish.


  • Limited edition series of 100
  • 50 cm tall x 27 cm wide, and 55 cm deep.
  • Weight 10 kg
  • Upper shell opens through a rotation of 80 degrees.
  • Materials are hard-anodised aluminium structure, hand-carved oak wood shell, rough-cast concrete base, with brass, resin and stainless steel fittings, and bone china fragments.
  • 240V 50Hz mains powered, GX53 LED bulb.
  • Designed and handmade by Dan Morrison

The Clamshell Alchemist lamp photographed by Pete Gardner for Stuff Magazine 2015

A couple of videos taken at a recent event which demonstrate the mechanical movement of a Clamshell and gives some insight into the thinking behind it...

Clam Dub - a video showing a Clamshell opening and closing, set to Sunshine Dub by Augustus Pablo.

Dan talking about the design of the Clamshell Alchemist lamp and demonstrating the mechanical movement.

 Customer photo of their Clamshell lamp displaying the sea-burnished glass pebbles that they had collected on a northern beach recently.   Photo by C.Hill

Customer photo of their Clamshell lamp displaying the sea-burnished glass pebbles that they had collected on a northern beach recently.

Photo by C.Hill