Pottery is found in many alluring forms. You can find antique and vintage vases and planters to post-modern expressions of decorative pieces. Pottery has also traditionally been used for lighting purposes. The old oil lamps of ancient culture evolved into lamp bases for modern electrical fixtures.
I enjoy the combination of vases or planters with lighting aspects all in one. An obvious combination is a lamp fixture that shines into a coordinated planter container below it. This 1960s era hanging planter is an example of a treatment found in many suburban homes from the late 1960s into the 1970s. The beauty of the design is that it provides ambient, accent lighting along with a light source for whatever type of low light craving plants lived in the container.
Lava Lamps continue to have popularity among certain folks. This old “Elegance” lamp features a circular planting ring tray on the base of the fixture. Obviously, you don’t want to use a live planting because of the shock hazard. One bad splash, and zing, you’re history! Back in the day, these lamps came with artificial flowers mounted on a candle ring. The original ring for this lamp was a faded, disgusting sight that I had to dispose into the trash. With floral clay as a base, I created an otherworldly inspired dry arrangement. It works better than the pansies and faux daisies of the original candle ring.
I enjoy a modest collection of teevee lamps. This particular one is of the standard, generic style found on the top of many television sets during the late 1950s into the 1960s. A person could plant something in the planter and water it safely by removing the planter from the electrified base then replacing it afterwards. The problem is that the heat from the bulb tends to dry out the soil quickly. Maybe a cactus could grow in it, but the planter would need to be on a window sill. The solution, again, is artificial flowers. I updated to a simple moss rose look. Here, I use the lamp to highlight a favorite photo.
I cleaned up and reconditioned this vintage panther style teevee lamp. It’s a very small piece, so I had to use tiny fill flowers to create an exotic look inside the planter well of the lamp. I use this as an “indicator” lamp plugged into the switched outlet of my stereo amp, so when the stereo is turned on, the panther is backlit.
The stylized leaping impalas or gazelles are the main feature of this mid-century teevee lamp. I again used artificial filler flowers and moss roses to keep the appearance on the exotic side. All of these planters, except for the first one, use low wattage, LED lighting bulbs. They are cool running so the vintage glazes of the pottery aren’t compromised. The added benefit is very low electricity consumption.
The Blue Jay of Happiness is considering moving his home to the large, hanging planter.