Wednesday, March 07, 2007

light and dark

i've always loved summer thunderstorms, and especially the ones that roll up in the south...they just don't make 'em like that here in the city. the electric feel of the air, the thick, sweet, heavy smell of summer, the way the sky turns all green and angry in the blink of an eye, the way the trees bend all the way to the ground and the leaves flip over so the entire forest looks white. there's something exhilarating about that - excitement, fear, curiosity, wonder, all balled into one. i also love when, in the middle of a storm, there's a flash of lightning, a crash of thunder, and suddenly the lights drop out, the fridge grinds to a halt, the tv snaps off. the whole world comes to a standstill, silence, dark, and there's nothing left to listen to except the slapping of branches on windows and the drops of rain on the tin roof. it's vaguely romantic, i think, and a bit calming despite the panic one could potentially feel in such a situation.

whenever this happened when i was young, the first thing my mother would do would be to break out these old, vintage oil lamps, and i think it's why i'm always so excited when we lose power now (also never happens in the city, as all the power lines are underground!). there was something so magical about lighting up these strange things that we weren't ever allowed to touch.

it's hard to find these traditional oil lamps now, outside of antique or estate sales, but there are a few more modern variations that i've found to fill the niche.

these shockingly gorgeous oil lamps from eva solo just take my breath away - the combination of smooth porcelain and stainless steel is just lovely. and what do you know - it features an everlasting wick! sadly, they aren't available until may, but start saving!

and to continue down the porcelain trail, how about these hanging lamps by Roost over at velocity art and design? i know, i know, they aren't oil lamps (and thank god, because think how dangerous they'd be?!), but there's a hint of the same kind of feel.

these lamps over at lehman are honestly not the most beautiful thing i've ever laid keen eyes on, but to be fair i think they have their charm and in the right setting could be homey and cute. and did i mention they run on olive oil, which is 99% renewable and produces no odor or smoke? that's always a plus.

these candle flicker lights are said to last for hundreds of hours. they come in a set of 3 and you just place the tubes in any glass, bottle or vase which is filled with transparent oil lamp with a "minimum flash point of higher than 65 degrees celsius" (not sure exactly what that means) and light 'er up!

and finally, i'll close with this little hurricane lamp - its warm frosted glow would be perfect for curling up in bed with a good magazine after a long, drawn out thunderstorm, and right before you settle down to sleep.

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