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  • Writer's pictureHistoric Ithaca

Illuminating Creativity: Mason's Journey in the Work Preserve Program

At Significant Elements, we pride ourselves on nurturing creativity and craftsmanship through our Work Preserve Program. Our participants learn invaluable skills, not only in the realm of restoration and preservation but also in innovation and artistic expression. Today, we want to shine a light on Mason's journey and one of their final projects, a unique lamp that beautifully encapsulates their time with us.

Mason, under the guidance of Monica, our talented Work Preserve Trainer, embarked on a project to build a light fixture using found and salvaged parts. This task was more than just a practical exercise; it was an opportunity for Mason to explore their creativity, learn new techniques, such as basic wiring and electrical components, and see a project through from conception to completion.

The project began with a solid foundation. Monica welded the base using a 4-inch steel pipe and 1/8th inch flat bar, creating a sturdy and industrial-style stand for the lamp. This provided Mason with a reliable and weighted structure upon which they could let their imagination run wild.

The next step involved scavenging the shop for broken and discarded lighting pieces. Mason meticulously selected various components, demonstrating a keen eye for potential and an ability to see beauty in what others might consider scrap. Among the salvaged pieces, they found a vintage opalescent shade, a stunning piece that would ultimately define the character of the lamp. Moments like these ad value to the items we receive in donations everyday. Teaching future generations the importance of salvage and reuse.

With the base complete and the components chosen, Mason assembled the lamp. The vintage opalescent shade, with its delicate yet colorful quality, was a perfect choice. When the lamp is on, it emits a warm, inviting glow, creating a cozy atmosphere. When off, the shade stands as a beautiful display of color, showcasing its vintage charm that make it special.

This project was not just about building a lamp; it was about the journey and the skills Mason acquired along the way. From learning wiring techniques to developing an eye for design and salvaging, Mason's experience in the Work Preserve Program has equipped them with a diverse set of skills and a deeper appreciation for the art of restoration and creativity.

Mason's lamp is now a proud addition to our collection, symbolizing the creativity and resourcefulness we aim to inspire in all our participants. It stands as a testament to the potential that lies in reclaimed materials and the transformative power of imagination and skill.

We invite you to watch the video of Mason's project



and see for yourself the incredible work that our participants are capable of. Here's to many more projects that illuminate the creativity and craftsmanship of the Work Preserve Program at Significant Elements.

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