This piece has been affectionately entitled; Van Gogh on account of its exuberant use of the great artist's favourite colour, yellow. It features a recycled, solid brass faucet incorporating a high tech, electronic microswitch. The inbuilt microswitch emits the tiniest 'click' when the faucet handle is rotated either anticlockwise to turn the lamp on or clockwise to turn the lamp off.
Gareth was not content to accept the manufacturer's guarantee that these microswitches last virtually for ever - he devised a testing apapratus which exposed the switches to almost 2 million operations! Now, let's imagine that you use Van Gogh's Delight say, twice a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year, that's 728 times per annum. If we adopt a conservative figure of say, one million operations, it's going to take you 1373 years of daily use before you reach the halfway point of the life of the microswitch. These things are built to last.
Incidentally, the type of British Standard Pipe used here was first employed commercially in the latter part of the 18th Century, when the invention of illuminating gas required a new product to convey it from place to place. At about this time the war between France and England came to an end and a large quantity of gun-barrel stock was released onto the open market. Hey presto! The first gas pipe was made from gun barrels.
You'll notice as you view the photo that this lamp is comprised of a series of oblongs and squares, counterbalanced by the rugged, circular bases upon which it sits. You can almost feel the movement of the lamp, it has at one and the same time an aura of movement and energy along with a restful, demure quality enhanced by the simple Art Deco pearl lampshade.
This particular shade has its own, individual history. For many decades it graced the dining room of a wood pannelled, gracious residence on the Cashmere Hills which encircle Christchurch from its southern aspect. When the house was finally sold to a local composer, she decided to completely renovate along modern lines.
Gareth happened to be visiting the lady just as a temporary workman was in the process of detaching this shade and retaining it as a 'souvenir!' Gareth tactfully enquired of the gent as to his intentions and was immediately offered a mumbled explanation and a hasty handing over of the lampshade. The lady composer overheard the exchange and was so grateful to Gareth for protecting her property that she offered it to him as a 'thankyou.'
On closer inspection Gareth found it to be identical to a lamp he had had in a house he had lived in whilst working in Wales, Great Britain. So now a truly genuine artefact of a bygone era has made its way into a functional artwork just waiting to find the right person, and the right home in which to serve and illuminate.