What do you do?
I make unique feature lighting using upcycled and repurposed materials. All of the lamps that I create are bespoke one-of-a-kind pieces of art.
My main aims are to reuse objects in a fun and unique way, I love to take old redundant objects and give them a new functional use by turning them into fun statement piece lighting.
I love taking old objects that have memories and sentiments attached and giving them a new purpose that allows the original object to go-on being appreciated and enjoyed whilst it serves a functional purpose as a beautiful lamp.
What is your main passion?
I’ve always been obsessed with all kinds of lighting. Especially theatre lighting and special effects lighting. As a child I really wanted to work in the theatrical lighting and scenic design. I am also a keen collector of arts and antiques; I love anything unusual and objects that tell a story.
I love it how different kinds of lighting can have a massive impact on a space. A table lamp can make a room feel cosy and warm, whereas using coloured lighting and directional lighting can instantly decorate a room.
I studied for an NVQ in electrical engineering at Derby College, but I was unable to find an apprenticeship, I ended up working in insurance.
Why do you do what you do?
Ever since a young age I was always into all kind of arts and crafts, I was always making some kind of contraption, from robots to inventing new creations.
I’ve also always been very conscious about the environment and how we can recycle and reuse more old items to minimise our impact on the planet.
Stage Left Lux allows me to combine my passion for feature lighting with helping to do the right thing for the planet, by reusing old objects and turning them into unique lamps.
I have a passion for old objects that tell a story and I love to keep the history alive; I use a lot of old vintage and antique items to create my lamps, therefore I take a minimal or no damage approach to all of the lamps that I create to respect the provenance of the original old objects that I use.
What inspired you to do what you do?
At primary school I remember the teachers telling us about recycling and about the ozone layer and the negative impact that we were having on the planet.
As a child I was surrounded by creativity. My parents always encouraging me to take part in various arts & crafts.
My mum was always doing some kind of art from baking her own bread, watercolour painting, cross stitch.
My dad worked as an engineer, he was always fixing things, I remember him keeping loads of tins full of various nuts and bolts!
My stepdad worked as a woodwork teacher, we would always work together on projects, I used to love going to Potts electrical shop and buying batteries bulbs and wires, so I build the contraptions that I had invented!
Where did it start?
In 2020, Covid happened, we all found ourselves working from home and this gave us more time to do the things we are passionate about.
When we were allowed out to the shops I visited a local antiques shop – Heanor Antiques Centre.
Whilst walking round the antiques centre I found an old theatre light sitting on a bottom shelf, it was covered in dust and had a tag on it that said ‘’do not use, needs rewiring’’ I realised that not many people would know what to do with it, but I knew exactly what needed to be done.
So, I bought the theatre light and took it home. I rewired it and mounted it on a tripod. It looked great and it was an amazing feeling being able to bring an old unloved object back to life.
I made it my mission to find old unwanted objects and give them a new purpose by converting them into wonderful feature lamps.
Over the last three years I have converted all sorts of objects into lamps. Normally these are objects that have had their day and served their purpose, but instead of sending these to landfill I can give them a second chance at life and turn them into something that can be cherished and enjoyed at the same time as being functional and serving a purpose.
Some of the objects that I have converted into unique feature lamps are soda syphons, old telephones, old musical instruments, sewing machines, irons, toy cranes, and even a shot gun!
I love it when people ring me up and say ‘’I’ve had this old object up the loft for years, can you do something with it!?’’
I embrace challenges, none of the lights I create are ever straightforward but the sense of achievement when old objects are saved are turned into something beautiful is phenomenal!
Where did the name Stage Left Lux come from?
The business name needed to reflect its origins and my passion for the theatre and the theatrical lighting that started everything.
I toyed with lots of different ideas, before settling on Stage Left.
Stage Left is a theatrical term meaning the audiences right as they look up at the stage – this is also a play on the stage left-overs as a testament to the first light that I made which used an old vintage theatre light.
But I needed to add a word which represented lighting. I discovered the word Lux. Lux is a Latin word which means Light and is also used as a measurement of luminance and brightness.
So Stage Left Lux was born.
The slogan ‘’Lighting Your Way’’ is because a lot of the lamps I make are bespoke and made to order, this means that my customers can have it their way! I also like to be innovative in the way I use materials and do things differently – so I would like to see it that I am lighting the way forward in some respects.
How has your business evolved over time?
I started off by making lamps on a speculative basis and selling them on my website, eBay and via Facebook marketplace.
After a while I found myself getting enquiries from people for bespoke lighting, such as people wanting their old family telephones turning into lamps or asking me to convert sentimental objects such as a musical instrument they played at school.
I also had enquiries from customers asking me to repair and repair broken lamps.
So there are now three complimentary aspects to my business:
I design and build unique lighting on a speculative basis.
I create bespoke made-to-order feature lighting.
I repair broken lamps and fix and restore vintage and antique lighting.
I also offer a restoration, repair and PAT testing service for various local antiques shops based around Derby.
What is the favourite thing that you’ve made?
I love to create big statement piece lighting designs.
It’s difficult to choose a favourite because I love everything I do, they’re all special and have unique features.
But one of my current favourites is a top hat lamp. This one was inspired by an old antique top hat that I found in Antiques In the Quarter in Derby.
I fell in love with the top hat from the moment I saw it, I knew it would make a fantastic lampshade. I have seen them used as shades before, but other people that have converted top hats into lampshades have simply drilled a hole through the top of them and stuck a bulb inside – I couldn’t do that and didn’t want to do that!
Shortly after that I found a mannequin bust, I knew this was perfect as a base. This lamp is a feat of engineering, I was able to use the mannequin as a base and use copper pipe to as a vertical stand for the top hat to freely sit on top, with the bulb holder mounted below. To finish it off I was lucky enough to find a large vintage style bulb which is in the shape of a head.
The result was a stunning eye-catching lamp which will make a stylish edition to any setting.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
I love being part of the creative community. Derby has such an amazing heritage as being a centre of making and creativity. Derby was the place where the industrial revolution started and is home to the world’s first factory.
This year (2023) I was lucky enough to be granted a residency at Banks Mill studios. Banks Mill is a small business incubator owned by The University of Derby and hosts an array of creative small businesses.
This month I was lucky enough to host a two-week exhibition of my work in the foyer of Banks Mill studios, this has been an amazing opportunity for me to showcase what I love doing, the amazing feedback that I have received has been truly overwhelming!
I was completely blown away by how many people came to my opening night, I never expected that there would be so many people coming to see what I do.
What are your goals for the future?
I love what I do, I really enjoy thinking outside of the box and creating unique and innovative lighting ideas. My alternative lighting designs are a perfect addition to any room.
My goals for the future are to work with interior designers and decorators, I would love nothing more than seeing my work on display for the public to enjoy in bars, hotels and restaurants.
Thank you for reading!
Please have a look around my online lighting shop to see more of what I do and please get in touch to see how I can help turn your old unwanted items into a beautiful functional light for you to treasure.
Stage Left Lux
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