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Palmlight #2 2000 hand-sized battery-powered light, acrylic, anodised steel National Gallery of Australia enlarge
‘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
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.
- 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
- Use a torch to investigate different types of filters, their shadows
and reflection. Try different materials.