Monday, April 30, 2012

a new finial



While antiquing at the seacoast we found this small piece of white coral for $1!  I knew it would make a great finial, but didn't have a specific lamp in mind. 
Lamp finials are like cherries on top of the proverbial cake... the final, finishing detail!  A lamp isn't complete without them, and they can make or break a beautiful lamp.  Scale, proportion, and composition are all elements to be considered.





When we arrived home I walked the small piece of coral around the house to see if it would work on any of our lamps, or if it was to go into the "one day" collection for future lamp finials!   When I walked into the reading room and saw this antique Chinese blue and white double happiness ginger jar that we made into a lamp years ago, I knew it had found its home!


 
The shape of the coral mimics the background in the ginger jar, something I had never noticed before!  I have used a lot of white coral in this room, so using the coral finial seemed like a good match.


 

A simple brass ball finial was being used prior to the coral find.  The right size and height brass ball finial can sometimes be the perfect solution, but some lamps can hold their own with a more ornate finial!  Since the lamp sits on a chest of drawers the brass finial was attached using an extender to raise the finial just enough to be seen from standing level.   


 
Dan used a table grinder to reshape the coral to fit inside the finial base.



I expected to use some glue, but it was such a snug fit none was needed.



 
When we make lamps we like to use as many old/antique elements as possible.  This ginger jar had a rather large opening at the top, so an antique brass ceiling medallion was used as the cap for the lamp- the swirl designs in the cap mimics the background design on the ginger jar.



With a project like this we always err on the conservative side, as you can always continue to take more off, but you can't add it back on!  The first several attempts at height were too tall.  I lived with this height for several days before realizing that every time I walked by and saw it it reminded me of a feather sticking out of a Derby hat!  Three more grindings, and....



we finally arrived at this-  the perfect height!


So, do all your lamps have the perfect finial?!!


69 comments:

  1. I love finials....your lamp is gorgeous.....

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  2. Your hubs is so patient. This is a great idea and I probably would have plopped it on with some gorilla glue or something. It looks perfect!

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  3. The perfect finishing touch on such a pretty lamp!

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  4. You are so creative and clever. I would ever have thought to do that and it looks perfect! I have been thinking of you lately....my nickel needs to be polished around the house and I remember you telling me about something you found recently that you like better than simichrome. I think my simichrome is all gone. I need to look for that e-mail.

    Kim

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  5. Pura Vida- that was my first thought too, to glue it, but it was way too top heavy for that so Dan came up with the idea to grind it to fit the finial base!

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  6. P.S.---- I found the email it is Flitz! Do you still prefer it?

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  7. Oh I just love it when things like this come together in my home. Looks fantastic Joan.
    XO

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  8. Kim- it's "Flitz" I LOVE for the nickel silver! Dan still uses the SemiChrome for certain projects, but for the nickel silver Flitz is the best!!!

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  9. perfection!! you inspire me every time i visit!!:)

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  10. Once again you've taken something ordinary and turned it into the extraordinary. Reminding us all to think outside the box (and the big box stores). I love it.

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  11. I like your do-it-now attitude, and you have a unique lamp to show for it. Another thing to look out for is unique chain pulls for lamps that have that kind of socket.
    --Road to Parnassus

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  12. A perfect fit for your lovely lamp! You are going to get a lot of compliments!!

    XO,
    Jane

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  13. Gorgeous. You should sell these. Really, set up a shop. You would certainly have customers (like myself) lining up!

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  14. I love your creative finials. I realized I don't have any at my house, I've never given it much thought and now I want some!

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  15. I love it, it is perfect. I would love to see all of your other finials, please!!!!

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  16. Gabriele- We actually have talked about something along those lines;) Thank you for the encouragement!

    Anon3:24- Great idea; I'll work on a "finial" post!

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  17. I love it, and would have never thought to use it as a finial! Looks great!
    Happy Monday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  18. Joan, I so agree that a finial can make or break a lamp. I love that you used a special found object for your finial, very clever and it looks wonderful. Happy monday, Kathysue

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  19. Joan, I love it!! Never would have paired the two together, but they look so good. You two are so creative and resourceful. Also, the English (American?) chest is very handsome. Thanks for sharing.
    Loi

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  20. Finials are a final touch, a lamp is bare without them...like a sofa/chair without cushions. I also have a little stash of them, and always keep a lookout for parts. I think the coral finial is perfect in that room. I love it!!! That room is one of my favorite rooms in your house, I have read and re-read the details post many times!!! donna :)

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  21. Hey Joan:
    Would it be possible for Dan to come and stay with me for a while???!!!
    I got a ton of projects for him...
    Another lovely post...you never disappoint...

    Cheers
    Linda :o)

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  22. What a great memory from your trip and I love it as a finial! I guess I just need to open my eyes to the possibilities.

    Gretchen

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  23. You are too clever. Love the ceiling medallion top, too.

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  24. Your finial is beautiful! I have used little seashells and glued them to plain round wooden finials. Their texture adds to the lamp and takes it up a step.

    Love you home!

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  25. How beautiful! Lamp finials are something I have never given much thought to, now I am rethinking how I can change up the ones in my own home. Thanks for sharing such great ideas and beautiful pictures!

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  26. How perfect! You are so clever to think of using that as a lamp finial. It looks beautiful on your lamp. Your husband earns brownie points too for figuring out how to make it work! I can't beleive that was only $1.

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  27. Gorgeous lamp and finial, Joan! Great idea. Thanks for sharing.
    Deborah

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  28. No...I'm sorry to say that my lamps are in desperate need of finials...well not all of them, but quite a few. What an amazing eye you have for details...in a way that is beyond creative! I would have never thought to create a lamp finial from a piece of coral. How beautiful it looks on your ginger jar lamp...right at home indeed.
    annie

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  29. Hi Joan, To answer your question...no! Just the usual alabaster, a crystal and brass. But I have always noticed them. I even loved the brass finial originally on the harp. Take care, Sara

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  30. I luv this! I just found a piece of coral similar to this at an estate sale.....humm.....I am walking around my house for inspiration.....contagious huh?

    L.

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  31. You are too clever by half! I love how all the elements come together in this lamp!

    No, I do not have all the finials I need! In fact, just today I realized I am missing the finial of a lamp on our balcony garden. It's a lamp that looks like it's made of stone, with dragonflies in the base and dragonfly cut-outs on the metal shade. Now I'm on the lookout for just the perfect thing. And off to ask my husband if he has a grinder....

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  32. Joan,
    This is such a clever idea. I have never thought of making my own finials but I do watch for pretty ones that suit the lamps in our home. I really like the way the coral ties to the coral looking design in the blue and white lamp. Great.
    Karen

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  33. Joan, Dan, Ella: In answer to your question: No, most of our lamps do not have nice finials...I need to remedy that. As I was reading your post, I looked at the lamp to my left only to realize that the finial does not show. I will be adding to my never ending list of home projects! Love this post. Cindy

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  34. My favourite finial disappeared in a move across the country - doubtless, tossed out in the packing paper. I've never replaced it, preferring no finial to one that is wrong....we just don't touch the shade!

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  35. I love the finial!!! Very creative of you, like always.

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  36. The coral finial is perfect for your antique chinese jar lamp! I love to see how you and Dan work together as a team with a shared interest in making your farm house beautiful. I am always inspired by your blog!

    Margaret, Virginia

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  37. Hello,

    I do not know where my comment went. I love this idea! I absolutely love every visit to your home and blog, I am always learning things.

    Have a great week, Elizabeth

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  38. The lamp is beautiful and that piece of coral is just perfection. I am very particular about finials and use antique ones whenever I can. Finding a selection is now very difficult in Florida. With the home construction market collapse, most of the lighting stores in the area went out of business. I never thought about making a finial of my own. I'll have to open my eyes now to more possibilities.
    XO Victoria

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  39. It is so inspiring and heartwarming too, to see another couple who work together as a team. Joe and I are always saying to each other, "we make a great team"!!! I ADORE the new finial. You and Dan made a $1.00 item into something extraordinary! XO, Pinky PS, I have several finials that I love but now want to replace most of the rest!!!!! Please show us all your finilas!

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  40. What a perfect fit for the lamp. I will have my eye out for unusual found objects that look like they might make finials.

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  41. i am quite certain that none of my lamps have the perfect finial.

    yours on the other hand are gorgeous and perfect. :)

    this is just genius!

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  42. I love everything about this corner of your home! The chest, the mirror, the candlestick, the painting and the lamp! Love the antique look of the fancy canopy to top the lamp. What perfect ideas and a fantastic job by your Mr. Magic, Dan!
    Kudos all around!
    xoxo, Chris

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  43. Um...In a word. No.


    Dayum Dan and his perfect table grinder.


    ;)

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  44. seacoast is redundant.
    Babs

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  45. I always associate you with lamps after I fell in love with the ones in your kitchen. Lightig really is your speciality!! This is amazing, you have some knack for amending lighting for your needs and taste - the chandelier in your barn room was transformed from great to stunning with your touches. Dan is soooo good and talented - you two are the perfect pair. I agree with one of the other comments - you should open a shop!! Seriously.

    Sharon
    xxxx

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  46. I absolutely love it! It is perfect and is the crowing touch to a beautiful vignette.

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  47. sheer brilliance and an amazing sense of detail, WOW!
    debra

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  48. Thank you so much for your comments!!

    Babs- Merriam-Webster seems to think "seacoast" is a mighty fine word:) It is a "noun" and means "the shore or border of the land adjacent to the sea." It is a term you hear often in New Hampshire by the locals, and the local media- both television and print referring to our geographically small part of the state that is on the Atlantic ocean. Hope that helps!

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  49. Great work! I don't give much thought to finials, but you've given me ideas!.....

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  50. Work of art and I don't know how I would even start ... You need to do one on one project step by step post!! Hugs z

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  51. Now I have to worry about finials too?! (Just kidding...sorta.)

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  52. Love the finial with that gorgeous lamp base. You are so talented. I think the only good lamps are ones that are put together from various elements!

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  53. I adore your attention to detail...the piece of coral for a finial, the shape with the lamp base, the precise height...love it all. Don't you love it when you bring something home just because you love it but don't really know where it belongs...then you walk around the house and find the PERFECT spot?!?!

    xo,
    Linsey

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  54. This looks great it's all in the details. Lovely!

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  55. Spectacular! What a difference. I don't have any finials on my lamps, I don't they can fit on most, but now I'm on a mission to add this beautiful decorative touch. THanks for the inspiration.

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  56. A great match. And I love the antique brass ceiling medallion. Another perfect fit. Really pretty. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  57. AMAZING POST:) I want to follow you, do you have twitter or FB??

    If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
    (Sweden)

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  58. That finial is so gorgeous and, like everything else you touch, is just so thoughtful and the right touch. I need to start thinking outside the box for finials. Lamps too for that matter.

    Would love to see how your garden is growing - it's warm enough in your parts now right? Regardless of the wreaths that may still be proudly displayed...


    Bernadette
    www.b3hd.blogspot.com

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  59. love. more than fabulous. how do you think of these things? i can barely find a lampshade!

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  60. I love the blue and white lamp. Do you sell them?

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  61. What a clever idea & what a fantastic result!I just signed up as your latest follower and I look forward to popping back for some more inspiration!
    x
    Melissah

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  62. Taylor- Not at the moment, but perhaps in the future!

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  63. Brilliant!!!
    I adore this idea...
    You are a great team and really should start an online business!!!!
    Your ideas are too good to keep to yourselves:)

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  64. Very pretty lamp with the perfect finial!!
    I am a musician, so of course one lamp in my living room is a brass treble clef, the other is an English transferware VERY mini grand piano!
    The lamp in our den has an antique brass Texas star ;^)

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