Mid Century Modern Spaceship Lamp
This idea has been in our conceptual closet for about three years now—ever since we acquired some vintage thread spool legs from a regional antique and architectural salvage store. We bought three sets of legs back then—one went to our wonderful “sheep box”, another to the magical “green circles” paulownia box, and the third was earmarked for a spaceship lamp. We had only to acquire the proper glass globe to get moving. Well, we finally found the perfect vintage frosted white glass globe and went into warp speed (ugh) on our plan!
The base of our spaceship was constructed from a stack of four chunks of tulip poplar. We glued up an inverted pyramid and then, using bandsaw, angle grinder, oscillating sander and hand sanding blocks, we shaped this 6” thick hunk into a semicircle shape that mirrors the shape of the glass globe top. We created a jig for our router, pegged it to the center of the top, and routed a groove to hold the glass globe, leaving a nice decorative lip all around the perimeter. We hollowed out the center portion of the wood to sink the light bulb assembly to the proper depth and created holes on the underside in which to seat the 3 thread spool legs.
The poplar base was coated with multiple layers of gloss black acrylic paint and finished with brush on satin polyurethane. The thread spool legs were given a coat of that wonderful Mid Century bright green acrylic paint and then sanded back a bit to reveal the beautiful grain of the maple from which they were made. They were then finished with the same satin polyurethane as the base.
This lamp is such a great size. The thread spool legs give it enough height that it could be used as a small floor lamp—next to a house plant or little chair in a safe spot in your house (the base is very heavy and the legs comparatively delicate, so this lamp, if used on the floor, should not be placed anywhere where it could be kicked). On the other hand, it is still short enough that it is a terrific lamp for a console or end table. The lamp includes a 6 foot cord with inline switch (accessible at leg height) and a long life 60 Watt equivalent LED bulb. This bulb inside the frosted glass globe yields a soft white accent glow (it is white, and not yellow as some of the photos indicate).
Top to bottom, this lamp measures measures 19 inches. At its widest, it is 10 inches. It will require a bit extra in shipping costs because the poplar base is very heavy for its size and the glass globe must be shipped separately to eliminate any chance that the base could shift in the box and break the globe.