The lounge bathroom is a natural-light streaked, narrow room attached to the lounge, which is the upstairs room intended for TV watching, enjoying the rooftop garden, and entertaining. Given this function, I wanted to create a light for the lounge bath that would transform the space into a fanciful environment through illumination.
Challenge: Working with a narrow space
The biggest challenge with this site was the narrowness of the room. There was a horizontal strip of windows by the ceiling that produced diagonal swathes of light that moved through the space throughout the day. My piece needed to relate in a meaningful way to this variable light as well as the other elements in the room, including the sink, toilet, and walls.
Tactile Experiences in Concrete and Glass
While conducting an investigation of this tight space, several characteristics stood out, in addition to the natural lighting conditions. The subtle contrast between the texture and feel of the walls and the floating custom concrete vanity felt like a fertile place to start. Conducting tests in the hot shop with hot post gathers and sand allowed me to explore ways to create a tactile contrast with clear glass. Although this was an interesting exercise, the outcome did not reflect the clean lines and material subtly present in the room, so we moved on.
Patterns and Projections
My clients had gorgeous metal grills fabricated for their shower grates and air vents. The graphic strength of these patterns captivated me. Through extensive drawing and mixed media prototyping, the idea of extracting graphic elements from these metal parts to create projections emerged. I experimented with thick paper and acetate to replicate the matte/shiny and opaque/transparent qualities of clear sandblasted glass.
A Magical Forest
Once I knew I wanted to incorporate projections into this piece, I returned to my original investigation of the space and decided to focus on the live oak trees visible outside the horizontal windows encircling the room. Spending several days meticulously sketching the lines, curves, corners, and intersections of these majestic trees, I arrived at a rectangular drawing that would serve as the base for a sandblasting screen. I freehand blew a clear glass silo shape in the hot shop. Then I used an alternative photographic method to sandblast my forest image onto it.
As the projection idea evolved, I started envisioning a projection that enveloped the whole room. I remembered seeing plastic lamps for kids’ rooms that projected animals, constellations, and cartoonish patterns onto the ceiling and thought they would be a good starting point. I purchased some, dismantled them, and examined their electrical components. What I found from that exercise, combined with the wealth of knowledge Bob the electrical wizard contributed, led me down the path towards the 360 degree projection I was seeking.