A while ago I made a pipe lamp out of plumbing tubing and some plaster and spray paint. Then I created a lampshade out of straw, coffee, and fungal mycelium. But the weight of the lampshade moved the center of mass too far from the base, and so it always fell over. The solution was to point the lamp in the other direction, where the lampshade could rest against the wall. And while this worked, it didn’t have the ‘bounce light off the white wall and softly illuminate the room’ look that I wanted. So I started brainstorming ideas that would allow me to keep the lamp, but to make the piece stable.
The first thing that I thought to do was just to weigh down the base. I tried a simple experiment of putting a bag of rice inside the base tube, but it was neither heavy nor stable enough to fix the problem. Eventually, I realized that I just needed to increase the size of the base.
But how to do so in a creative way, one ideally where it would be easy to take apart if I need to move it?
For inspiration, I thought back to my Nintendo Mushroom that I made for my scooter. If I had a metal baseplate and magnets inside, then the lamp would be stable but could also easily come apart. However, the PVC pipe was too thin to drill the magnets into (plus they wouldn’t be hidden). So I doubled down and superglued some Legos inside.
In the end, the base that I chose (25 cm) may be a little too big, but with a little decoration, I think it can complete the piece. Either way, now I finally have the illuminated wall of my dreams.
I’ve enjoyed playing around with using mycelium as a material, and I hope to do more with it in the future.