The answer is “Yes,” and I’ve been doing it for quite a while, such as in my red translucent bean-shaped sculpture Adzuki (top right).
The translucent filament is, of course, a must for the light to emanate, and I’ve been working a lot with this filament because I love how it interacts with light.
Adding the light myself means not having to worry about placing the sculpture in a sun-drenched spot or hoping for enough light from elsewhere. I always make sure the sculptures look great even without the light, but still!
Lighting these sculptures, though, is tricky to try to get the right amount of light to the right places, but recently I’ve had plenty of incentives to learn more about it ….
For one thing, people really like these sculptures, and they sell!
Overture (bottom right), a rich aubergine translucent sculpture, sold during a private studio tour. I had the sculpture – which didn’t even have a title at that point – in my garage workshop where I was working on adding the lighting. Two people on the tour asked to see it, and one fell in love and bought it on the spot!
So when Michael Denson from the Art HQ gallery in Surprise, Arizona, called about participating in an exhibit of lighted art, I was all in!
Ironically, I had sold so many of my lighted sculptures I needed to create new ones for the show.
I began digging deeper into ways to light the sculptures more fully as well as ways to control the lights with remotes and dimmers.
I also created new designs as well as redesigned some forms I thought would look fantastic lighted (the sculptures need to be redesigned to accommodate the lights) as well as conceived and 3D printed pedestals to hold the lights. (Sometimes the pedestals are an aesthetic addition, but in these lighted sculptures they have function, too.) I used LED tubes, “corncobs” and strings, depending upon the shape of the sculpture.
I’ve been testing the new sculptures and posting snapshots on Instagram and Facebook, and am eagerly awaiting professional photos from a recent shoot, which I’ll also post on social media and, of course, my site.
You can see these sculptures in person, too, at the “Illuminate” show in metro Phoenix. It will also feature the lighted sculpture of Larry Ortega and Ceri Jones, and runs Friday, April 9 through Friday, September 12, with an opening on April 9.
Please come by and say hi as you see us light it up!