Sunday, 22 January 2017

The most magnificent chandelier ever

Do you want to hear once again that a project is never finished? You probably don't, but I will say it anyway. And I will say again that every time I replace something in the house I feel bad about it. Especially if it is something I made myself very long ago, when I wasn't that good at making things.

This time I am replacing my crystal chandelier. It was among the very first objects I made ten years ago, and with all its faults I have been proud of it. I improved it when I decorated the dining room, and it can and will be further improved, but at the moment I have replaced it with a chandelier I bought last summer in the dangerous shop in Stockholm where I spend more money than I will ever admit. I got it relatively cheap because it was broken, but I was sure that my clever son-in-law would be able to mend it. I did try to solder it myself, but I am not very good at soldering, and it was such a delicate thing that I didn't dare. When my daughter and son-in-law visited us for holidays, he had a closer look at it and concluded that gluing it with superglue would work better than soldering, and since I have the deepest respect for his knowledge I agreed. He glued it, holding it together cleverly, at the same time pointing out that what I really needed for my miniature-making was a tool called third hand, which I immediately bought online, but by the time it arrived my wonderful son-in-law had left.

It took some time before I got down to putting up the chandelier, because to do so, I had to remove the floor of the room above, and I have once described the process. I had to remove all objects from the study, which is so high up that I need library steps to work comfortably. I know it's my own fault that the room is so crammed, but until you have to move them you don't even realise how many objects there are. Then I had to remove the floor, and because last time I put in the floor I was confident it was the very, very last time, it was if not permanently, but very firmly attached. I managed to pull it out without damaging too much of skirting, and while I was at it, sanded and varnished the floor a bit better. This is also typical: you become more and more demanding about the quality of your work. When I made this floor two years ago I was perfectly happy with it. Not any more. So this was an unexpected positive side effect.

I removed the old chandelier, burning with guilt. Then I started hanging the new chandelier and ran into some technical problems. The way I do it is hang the chandelier by a thin wire, the kind you find on wine bottles, then use a large darning needle to run the wire through the hole in the ceiling into the room above and fix it with masking tape. The trick is that the wire has to be strong enough to hold the weight of the lamp, but thin enough to go through the hole, and as I was working with it, the lamp broke again, as might be expected.

However, now I 1) knew that I could glue it 2) had a third hand. It still took a lot of manipulation, but I managed to glue and fix it, left it to dry for some days and today finally put it up. Isn't it fabulous?

Here is a view of the whole room where you can see how it is attached to the ceiling. The ceiling rose is a scrapbooking embellishment. The chandelier goes well together with the ancient mirror, from the same shop.

And this is the third hand. When you have got something like this you wonder how you could ever manage without it.


I think he has a very strong personality. Yes, I am confident it's a he. A bit like WALL-E. He has certainly already become a dear friend.

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