The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn
Palmlight #2 2000 hand-sized battery-powered light, acrylic, anodised steel National Gallery of Australia more detail
‘This work was part of a series which explored the idea of small scale portable light objects: lights which fit in the palm of your hand. The objects were designed to be used in the hand like a torch, or be placed on a table, providing illumination similar to that of a tea light candle. The palmlights were meant to be objects which were fun and playful, while remaining precious and providing function through the nature of the torch light.’
How was Palmlight #2 made?
Although Palmlight #2’s design lends itself to manufacturing and production, this particular piece is a one-off model where all components have been created and fitted by hand. Because of its method of hand-production, Palmlight #2 took a long time to complete – approximately 200 hours.
The outer shell of the Palmlight #2 has been hand-machined using a metal turning lathe and a milling machine after which the surface was anodised. The two halves of the Palmlight #2 interlock by a clockwise twisting action which activates a micro-switch to turn on the light. It is similar to a basic flash light: inside the object a torch globe is powered by two batteries. The lens has been hand-machined from clear acrylic which was then highly polished. The speckled pattern was made by ‘bead blasting’, and the light enhanced by a reflector underneath it.Activities:
- Turn on the light, what effect does the speckled pattern produce on illuminated surfaces?
- Does Palmlight #2 work more successfully in the dark or in daylight?
- Use a torch to investigate different types of filters, their shadows and reflection. Try different materials.