New lamps from recycled materials

By Susan Waughtal

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Slides become lamp of memories

While working at the Ritz Camera shop in the Apache Mall in Rochester, Andy Janus hated to see old photographic slides being discarded. Then he had a brainstorm idea.

With the assistance of his roommate, Andy Rein, Janus removed the slides from their cardboard frames and re-assembled them into a translucent lampshade with a panoply of images. The project took them more than 30 hours to complete. The lampshade includes many Rochester images that glow when the lamp is switched on.


Andy was so pleased with the results that he is considering marketing the lampshades.

"I want to create more lights with different themes — with nature images, for instance, or make custom lightshades for people using their own slides," Andy says.

Kitchen lighting kitsch

Artist Anna Restelli resides in Verona, Italy. Many years ago, she lived in Rochester while her husband was a resident at Mayo Clinic, when she formed a friendship with local artist Flo Sandok.

Restelli works in many mediums, but recently began creating table lamps from old kitchen utensils. Sandok saw the lamps during a visit and was inspired to create her own version.

Together, they searched junk stores and antique shops for old aluminum colanders, Jell-O molds, teaspoons, funnels, and coffeepots which they transformed into lamps that are kitchen conversation pieces.

"Besides being delightful art objects," Sandok says, "they provide wonderful light!" The inverted colander shade on one lamp casts starry light patterns around the room.

Whimsical lamps from junk


Lane Patterson first made lamps from rustic antique objects. Later, he started seeing old parts and pieces as sculptural forms and began combing them into sculptural lamps. He searches thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets, swap meets, dumps, auto salvages, and e-Bay for metal and wood objects with interesting form and patina. If a metal piece has promising form but needs more patina, he leaves it outside in the weather for a while.

Some of Lane’s lamps are whimsical sculptural figures. Others, such as a lamp derived from a bowling ball and a gumball machine with a bowling trophy finial, bring a chuckle of delight and recognition.

Patterson taught weaving and textile design at Mankato State (now Minnesota State) University for 20 years. He currently works from his studio in Arizona but returns each year to Minnesota to visit friends and attend Gold Rush Days to obtain materials for his sculptures.

"Last summer I drove back from Gold Rush pulling a trailer overflowing with stuff!" he laughs.

Susan Waughtal is an Oronoco freelance writer.

For information on where to find Lane’s lampshades, go to www.

His lamps, shades and sculptures are available through Ostynn-Newman at:

You can also see photos of his work on his personal web space:   

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