I Want This

DIY globe cluster lamps.

Clusters lamps are hugely common right now (even Pottery Barn has a version—and wouldn’t it look so much better without the stupid ceiling brackets?). My personal favorite is still Rody Graumans’ 85 Lamps, designed for Droog in 1993. I don’t have $3800 to buy it, though, so I’m kind of excited to see these recent DIY takes on the concept. They’re a bit like Marco Agnoli’s Sphere Lamps, only way less glitzy and even a bit rustic.

On the left is John Giacomazzi’s design for Area San Francisco, for which he provided instructions on Remodelista, including links to buy the suggested supplies.

The project on the right appeared in the most recent issue of ReadyMade and was created by Brooklyn designer Jean Pelle. The full instructions are available right here.

(By the way, Jean Pelle’s candle holders have been on my wishlist for a while now—I especially love the gold-leafed ‘Tod’ style.)

CB2 sells glass bubble balls in two sizes ($1.95/$3.95 ea.) and whirly candleholders ($3.95 ea.), any of which would be well-suited for either project.

p.s. There’s also a tutorial on Instructables, which, while decidedly less elegant than the other options, has some nice ideas worth checking out if you’re considering making your own version.

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  • Reply heather March 6, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I need something just like this for my living room! thanks. 🙂

  • Reply Katie March 6, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    i love this! i actually saw that fixture from pottery barn and was thinking i wanted something similar but more clustered. i was trying to figure out how to make one. i think i’m going to have to make it for my dining room… thanks for all of the links!

  • Reply verhext March 6, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I love gold leafed woodgrain. There’s a huge inspiring sculpture in vermont that made me want to do something on my land – maybe a torii gate or some crazy hippieness.

    i showed the candleholders to the woodworker boyfriend, and his response was “Never, throughout history have there been wood candle holders. Only now. If you forget about that candle burning. IT WILL burn down your house.”

  • Reply cupcakes and cashmere March 6, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    i wish i were a tad bit more creative…i’d try to make something like this in a heartbeat!

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 6, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    “Never, throughout history have there been wood candle holders.”

    What?! Tell Kevin he’s crazy – what about all those Danish teak candleholders? I mean, I know they’re only 40 years old, but just Googling “antique wood candlesticks” turns up stuff WAY older than that!

    I mean, I guess he’s right in theory, but…I dunno, my mother has been using old wooden spools as candlesticks forever, and she still hasn’t burned the house down.

    What if I promise to wrap the bottom of the candle in aluminum foil? Still no good?

  • Reply verhext March 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Haha, I don’t know. I almost burned down my house the other day with a pillar on a vintage plate, so don’t ask me!

    I will tell him he’s crazy, though.

    But most of the vintage ones I’ve seen have a metal lining?

  • Reply verhext March 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Kevin: i stand corrected. The difference between a teak candle holder and a soft wood like the one with the gold on it, in terms of flammability, is vast. Teak is incredibly dense. Would be hard to catch fire – but WOULD- eventually. That soft wood is a candle wick.

  • Reply hollandv March 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Dunno, these cluster bombs leave me a little cold. Every design incorporates some share of ugliness to carry it off (And Pottery Barn’s spider-suction-cupped-to-the-ceiling ugliness cannot be topped.)

    They also will require tedious cleaning, lest the globes get dusty or filmy. To look their best, they must be scrupulously clean.

  • Reply Joni March 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I just bought this one, with matching pendants, for our kitchen/dining room remodel. I can’t wait to see it installed!

  • Reply Charley (Canada) March 6, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Hello Anna,
    I just saved those instructions last week, remind me of Japanese fishing buoys. I was inspired to make a Random Light from your blog and this was the next project but I’ve already got too many dangling lights in our living room


    I saw these wallpapers and thought of you.
    Hope it’s ok to post the links.

  • Reply Kate F. March 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Word on the PB one needing to get rid of the scary ceiling brackets. It makes me think of a sea creature or a set from one of those fantastical-victorian sort of movies.

  • Reply Lori March 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Hmmm… All very interesting… The whirly candle holders, in my humble opinion (and I am open to other opinions on this), might look cool suspended from the ceiling by fishing line. Maybe 3 in a row, following the wall. They would appear to be floating. Or maybe it would look freakishly weird…:) Or maybe b/c I have kids anything with an open flame needs to be up high!! LOL

  • Reply kristin March 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I love these too. Just bought that Droog chandelier for clients actually and it’s lovely in person. These DIY options are great because I could never afford the Droog myself.

  • Reply laura March 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    i saw another cool chandelier made from whirly candle holders ages ago on apartment therapy, less clustered but still nice, i am too dumb to figure out how to put a link in a comment but if you google “whirly meggethpixel” it is the first link

    i love the John Giacomazzi clustered one, i think ill be giving that a try…someday

  • Reply So Lovely March 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you for all this info and also a big thanks for introducing me to Instructables! I think that will going to be a new obsession for the bigger version of the small child who drove everyone nuts asking “whhhyyyyy” !

  • Reply Designers' Brew March 6, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    The Pottery Barn one looks like a robot tarantula from hell! Love the rest, though; cluster pendants are one of my absolute favorite things. I wrote a whole post on them here:


  • Reply vera March 7, 2009 at 11:15 am

    lovely lamps! And such a cute dog you have!

  • Reply Ellen March 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you for pulling together all these sources! I think you could create a fixture more along the lines of your dream one by combining these ideas and using black cords/cording, the CB2 bubble balls, and three lights sources, as in the Pelle version. You could leave the cords and cording mostly free, attaching them at the top, and vary the lengths such that they are level at the bottom of the fixture. That’s just one idea. I look forward to seeing the beautiful fixture you create!

  • Reply Charley (Canada) March 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    These are a beautiful version with tiny halogen bulbs

  • Reply amanda March 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    yes! I completely agree with you about the Pottery Barn version! Its a nice price, but my goodness! What an eyesore the brackets make it! Looks like a Tim Burton-ish Spider crawling around on the ceiling! [after I typed that, it sounds cooler than I intended it too!]

  • Reply Amanda March 9, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I was recently in Anthropologie in Denver and over near the PJ section, they had a beautiful one made out of blue-green and clear globes. It was amazing!

  • Reply Queen of DIY March 15, 2009 at 6:59 am

    What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing. I’ve been looking for good and affordable solutions to lighting a tent this summer for our outdoor wedding. This might be just what I was looking for.

    Thank you!
    ~ Sarah

  • Reply anne April 19, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Candice on Divine Design (HGTV) did one of these on her episodes. Didn’t seem too difficult…although she did have her electrician guy put it together…

  • Reply stuart December 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    these are really cool, but living in san francisco I think one of these would break pretty easily in a moderate quake. But I guess Area San Francisco is willing to take that risk 🙂

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