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Mason Parker

11 Absolutely Eye-catching Chandeliers

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Mason Parker

My 108-year-old house has the original ceiling lights, although they were wired for electricity sometime in the 1930s (they were originally gas lamps). They need to be replaced, but I'm having a hard time finding anything charming enough to take their place -at least that's appropriate and in my price range. If I weren't so budget-conscious and picky, I'd have a world of creative lighting options. Let's take a look at what's out there in chandeliers.

1. Globes

Lighting sculptor Benoit Vieubled calls this work Monde à l’endroit, Monde à l’envers. That loosely translates to "World Right Side Up, World Upside Down." The chandelier is made of 15 world globes of various colors. It certainly is pretty, and these illuminated globes make one realize what can be done with beautiful objects that take up too much room sitting on a shelf or table: Hang them from the ceiling!

2. Drums

This light fixture made of drums was built by Matt Ludwig for the restaurant JJ's Red Hots. The name of the former restaurant at the location was The Drum, so the chandelier was conceived to honor the building's heritage. You can see pictures of the building process at the restaurant's blog

3. Bicycle Chains

Artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga loves to take castoff materials and make something beautiful. Her Connect series is a line of chandeliers made from old bicycle chains, which resemble chain mail and diffuse the light in a variety of ways. No two chandeliers are exactly alike! You can see some that are available for sale at Etsy. Watch a video of Facaro at work making them. 

4. Champagne Corks

The Celebration Chandelier by Alkesh Parmar is made of corks reclaimed from champagne bars. The corks were hollowed out and fitted with LEDs to make a custom fixture for use in bars, restaurants, or even homes. The look is both antique and modern.

5. Beer Bottles

Now here's a chandelier that tells the world something about you -your favorite beer(s)! No, they aren't commissioned. The company Barlite sells rack lights of different sizes and configurations into which you insert your own empty bottles. You can say each chandelier is custom-made, and they can be changed as your tastes and inventory changes. Just be sure that the bottles are completely dry before you hang them upside down!

6. Teacups

This is a lovely way to make use of fine china teacups that don't match the rest of your set, while keeping them out of harm's way. This chandelier would be perfect in a large casual dining room or a restaurant. We don't know who built it, but it was spotted in the clothing store Nice Things in Valencia, Spain, by blogger Chris of La Petite Nymphéa

7. Books

Lucy Norman created the chandelier called Light Reading from discarded books! The large circles are made from folding each page of a book. This is actually a lampshade that can be used to cover existing light fixtures -perfect for a library or reading room.

8. Glass Art

While many themed chandeliers are made from found objects or recycled materials, there are many lighting artists who create original designs from conventional materials. Glass artist Robert Kaindl fashions his chandeliers in glass for large rooms and public places. In all colors.

9. Stained Glass Octopus

This awesome stained glass octopus chandelier was made by Mason Parker of Mason’s Creations. Each of the tentacles is detachable, and the entire octopus is four feet across. You can adjust the lighting by illuminating just the center, just the tentacles, or all of it together. The octopus is a one-of-a-kind handmade work of art, but it's been sold. Parker says he will make another, but considering the craft involved, that may take some time! See more pictures at Mason's Creations.

10. Nintendo Zappers

Our own Erin McCarthy told us about a one-of-a-kind chandelier made from Nintendo zappers, the accessory used in the game Duck Hunt. Who would have this many gaming guns? JJGames, which is where the light fixture hangs.

11. Gummi Bear Candelier

This chandelier called the Candelier is made from approximately 15,000 Gummi bears! No, they won't go stale or melt, because they are tough yet realistic acrylic Gummi bears, strung together by hand. The sweet treat is available from Jellio. Watch the process of making one in this video. It's also available in a smaller size called the Mini Candelier, with 3,000 bears.

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Courtesy of Nikon
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science
Microscopic Videos Provide a Rare Close-Up Glimpse of the Natural World
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Courtesy of Nikon

Nature’s wonders aren’t always visible to the naked eye. To celebrate the miniature realm, Nikon’s Small World in Motion digital video competition awards prizes to the most stunning microscopic moving images, as filmed and submitted by photographers and scientists. The winners of the seventh annual competition were just announced on September 21—and you can check out the top submissions below.

FIRST PRIZE

Daniel von Wangenheim, a biologist at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, took first place with a time-lapse video of thale cress root growth. For the uninitiated, thale cress—known to scientists as Arabidopsis thalianais a small flowering plant, considered by many to be a weed. Plant and genetics researchers like thale cress because of its fast growth cycle, abundant seed production, ability to pollinate itself, and wild genes, which haven’t been subjected to breeding and artificial selection.

Von Wangenheim’s footage condenses 17 hours of root tip growth into just 10 seconds. Magnified with a confocal microscope, the root appears neon green and pink—but von Wangenheim’s work shouldn’t be appreciated only for its aesthetics, he explains in a Nikon news release.

"Once we have a better understanding of the behavior of plant roots and its underlying mechanisms, we can help them grow deeper into the soil to reach water, or defy gravity in upper areas of the soil to adjust their root branching angle to areas with richer nutrients," said von Wangenheim, who studies how plants perceive and respond to gravity. "One step further, this could finally help to successfully grow plants under microgravity conditions in outer space—to provide food for astronauts in long-lasting missions."

SECOND PRIZE

Second place went to Tsutomu Tomita and Shun Miyazaki, both seasoned micro-photographers. They used a stereomicroscope to create a time-lapse video of a sweating fingertip, resulting in footage that’s both mesmerizing and gross.

To prompt the scene, "Tomita created tension amongst the subjects by showing them a video of daredevils climbing to the top of a skyscraper," according to Nikon. "Sweating is a common part of daily life, but being able to see it at a microscopic level is equal parts enlightening and cringe-worthy."

THIRD PRIZE

Third prize was awarded to Satoshi Nishimura, a professor from Japan’s Jichi Medical University who’s also a photography hobbyist. He filmed leukocyte accumulations and platelet aggregations in injured mouse cells. The rainbow-hued video "provides a rare look at how the body reacts to a puncture wound and begins the healing process by creating a blood clot," Nikon said.

To view the complete list of winners, visit Nikon’s website.

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Art
‘American Gothic’ Became Famous Because Many People Saw It as a Joke
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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In 1930, Iowan artist Grant Wood painted a simple portrait of a farmer and his wife (really his dentist and sister) standing solemnly in front of an all-American farmhouse. American Gothic has since inspired endless parodies and is regarded as one of the country’s most iconic works of art. But when it first came out, few people would have guessed it would become the classic it is today. Vox explains the painting’s unexpected path to fame in the latest installment of the new video series Overrated.

According to host Phil Edwards, American Gothic made a muted splash when it first hit the art scene. The work was awarded a third-place bronze medal in a contest at the Chicago Art Institute. When Wood sold the painting to the museum later on, he received just $300 for it. But the piece’s momentum didn’t stop there. It turned out that American Gothic’s debut at a time when urban and rural ideals were clashing helped it become the defining image of the era. The painting had something for everyone: Metropolitans like Gertrude Stein saw it as a satire of simple farm life in Middle America. Actual farmers and their families, on the other hand, welcomed it as celebration of their lifestyle and work ethic at a time when the Great Depression made it hard to take pride in anything.

Wood didn’t do much to clear up the work’s true meaning. He stated, "There is satire in it, but only as there is satire in any realistic statement. These are types of people I have known all my life. I tried to characterize them truthfully—to make them more like themselves than they were in actual life."

Rather than suffering from its ambiguity, American Gothic has been immortalized by it. The country has changed a lot in the past century, but the painting’s dual roles as a straight masterpiece and a format for skewering American culture still endure today.

Get the full story from Vox below.

[h/t Vox]

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