Friday, August 27, 2010

Slide Film Lamp Shade, Part I

So this has been a slightly delayed "to-do" post that I actually started a couple of weeks ago.  To explain a bit better, this is a DIY post on how to make a 35mm slide film lamp that is currently still in progress.

A few years ago, I had gone to some random college party and found that the girl hosting had the most unique and brilliant lamp shade that I had ever seen.  The shade was all made from 35 mm slide film, mounted together and linked to form a beautiful lamp shade.  The whole idea was just brilliant because it was a clever way to view old slide film just laying around.  [And yes, it isn't that taboo; if you are a photographer/hobbyist, you will more than likely have some just lying around.]  Anyway, I had loved how each little slide was a unique facet of information and picture.  At the time, I had some slide film already shot but didn't really see the point in seeing 36 exposures of an old boyfriends face, etc.

Since then, I had always wanted to try the same thing but never really gave it the effort and time it required.  But as you grow older, you find that "arts and crafts" time isn't something you can schedule in like a third period from the old high school days.  Instead, I've had to work at this project, weeks at a time. 

First, I went out and purposefully shot some slide film.  Thom and I headed down to the Rochester's Public Market and walked around a bit while I photographed the various knick-knacks and miscellaneous things for sale.  As always, miscellaneous things = interesting composition for slide film lamp shade.  :-)

Then, I got down to business and worked out how many slides I would actually need, paper to back it, holes to add and drill bits to buy!  Below are just some of the steps that I have currently accomplished.
Supplies I needed to buy.  Not shone are a pair of needle nose pliers.

First off, I shot 3 rolls of slide film, just in case.  Here are just a few example images taken from that market day.

I figured that I would need aproximately 55 slides to make a full lamp shade.  So I measured and cut out (55) 1.25'x2' rectangles from 1 ply vellum paper.  Vellum paper will help diffuse the light better once the film is mounted on the lamp shade.

After I cut the rectangles, I glued each onto the back of a slide.

Next I laid all the slides down on my table and flattened them with two heavy books.

Then I had to mark (6) 1/8' markings from each corner and from the top and bottom middle.

Here's a close up.
Instead of trying to mark 55 slides from each corner and middle, I decided to drill the first slide and use it as a template to mark the rest.  After marking all the slides, I then had to drill all the markings.

This is as far as I've gotten!

Next I'll have to finish up drilling the rest of the slides, fix the lamp shade structure and beginning linking and placing.  I'll have another post up soon on those finishing touches.  Stay tuned!

*Update:  Check out part II of this process here!

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