Crane desk lamp

Our Crane Lamp pays homage to two of the delights of our skyline, both sharing a common name: to the towering load-lifting structures that help us create our man-made landscape, and to the beautiful, iconic prehistoric bird, currently being reintroduced into our UK natural landscape after 400 years of absence.

For more info or to order a Crane email Dan at dan@blottworks.com

£1,700

Background

Some things just make you want to stop and really look whenever you notice them. They can seem commonplace but still manage to give you a new perspective. Huge construction cranes are like that (for us) - they shift the way we perceive the built environment around us. They seem to reach into our world from someplace else.

We wanted to tap into this, so set out to create an extra large industrial floor-standing lamp that would have a crane-like construction, and hover above an indoor space in that unobtrusive but magnificent way that cranes do. We decided to call it Crane Floor Lamp.

And then it occurred to us that the word 'crane' has two meanings, and after a bit of research discovered that these beautiful birds, who have been around for 40 million years, and who have been absent from the UK for 400 years, were now being reintroduced. They also have something of the same quality as their namesake - sighting one in flight somehow subtly adjusts your perception of time and scale.

So far we don't have any cranes living near us here, but we do have herons, and we are lucky enough to share a moment or two with one of these birds most days. Although herons are from a different family from cranes, they share a similar otherworldly and slightly awkward elegance. We revisited our sketches of the crane lamp and started to see something of the bird in our shapes. 

As part of our prototyping process we decided to build a smaller version to sort out the details before scaling-up again. It quickly became clear that this smaller size would make a beautiful desk lamp whilst still embodying many of the things we wanted from the floor lamp. So we put the floor lamp on hold and piled all our efforts into tailoring this smaller lamp for this new context. We decided to call it Crane Desk Lamp.

Description

This lamp has been designed to be equally comfortable sitting on a desk and providing light to read and work by, or as a decorative object, either illuminating itself, or other nearby items or surfaces. The 'beak' of the lamp acts as the lamp shade, with light emitting from its lower surface.

It is formed of two semi-circular girder sections, the rear static portion being slightly wider to allow the front portion, which carries the lamp and 'beak' shade, to slide inside it. This allows the reach of the light to be adjusted to suit the task or context.

The 'beak' shade can also rotate to direct light on to itself when in the 'tucked-up' position, on to the desk or table when in the horizontal position, or on to an object or surface directly ahead when rotated out fully. Or to any position in between.

The lamp is switched on using the push button switch at the front of the base. The reach of the lamp is adjusted by turning the brass handle that operates a curved rack and pinion gear assembly. And the wooden spheres ('eyeballs') adjust the tension of the 'beak' shade so that its position can be changed by hand.

Specification

  • Member of our LightBEAM collection
  • Limited edition series of 100
  • 57 cm tall x 15 cm wide (base), with maximum reach of 82 cm from back to front.
  • Weight 6 kg
  • Neck extends 25 cm (80 degrees rotation) from fully retracted to fully extended.
  • Beak light has 190 degrees of rotation allowing many different configurations.
  • Materials are hard-anodised aluminium structure, hand carved oakwood shade (early versions were milled aluminium billet), rough-cast concrete base, with brass, resin and stainless steel fittings
  • 240V 50Hz mains powered, GU9 LED bulb.
  • Designed and handmade by Dan Morrison

The Great Crane Project

For more information on these beautiful birds and the project to bring them back to our island, have a look at the excellent Great Crane Project web site. There is loads of information on the birds themselves, on their history, on how they are achieving their goals and on how to help.

Here's a quote from their homepage that captures some of the magic of these majestic birds:

"Imagine...it's spring, and the morning sun is slowly burning the mist off the marshes...  Suddenly an explosive guttural call reverberates across the landscape. You walk towards the source of this incredible sound, and catch a glimpse of movement in the meadow grasses.  With bill turned skywards, a piebald head on a long slender neck is heralding the day. Your heart almost stops. Unmistakable- it's a crane!

Cranes are beautiful. Their trumpeting calls sound astonishing.  And they have a courtship dance that has to be seen to be believed."

Before hunting and the draining of our wetlands wiped them out, cranes were plentiful and widespread in the UK.