A bright idea

64_lamp_01James Eddy, of James Eddy Woodworks in Douglas, Mass., handcrafts a variety of furnishings for the home. His most distinct offering, however, includes a variety of wooden lamps and shades.

Eddy formerly worked as a specialist in historic furniture and home restoration and that led to his understanding of architectural and period details. At one point in his career, he decided to make goods that could sell in galleries, with the goal to make something that stands out from his competitors' products.

"I realized no one else was making wood lighting. I was intrigued by it. I realized that lighting was the type of work that could keep me interested over the long haul. People constantly tell me that they've been looking for a wood lamp, but they just can't find them," says Eddy.

The wood bases are made primarily of North American hardwoods, such as maple, cherry, walnut and oak. Occasionally, he uses wenge for a dark accent.

64_lamp_02The lamp shades are fabricated with laminated frames that have mica panels or light-colored veneers, such as bird's-eye maple.

"I've always been a big fan of Arts and Crafts design, so I was naturally drawn to mica as a translucent material. I started out with making pieces with wood frames and translucent mica. Very early on, I realized I was creating a style of using wood where it wasn't normally used. And I was wondering what would happen if I made a lamp of all wood."

Eddy says the most challenging part of creating the custom lamps is the joinery.

"It was a challenge for me to learn to put eight or 12 pieces together in a lamp base and have all of the joints tight. That took a lot of practice for me to do it consistently and not have gaps and cracks."

The lamps start at $700.

Contact: James Eddy Woodworks, 209 West St., Douglas, MA 01516. Tel: 508-277-4652. www.jameseddywoodworks.com

This article originally appeared in the March 2011 issue.