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  • Mitchell Antesky


If you've browsed through our shop in person or our online "shop" page, you know in addition to creating lamps out of industrial pipe and fittings we also love to upcycle many cast off everyday items into unique lamps too. You've seen the popular gumball machines, an array of small kitchen appliances and fire extinguishers all converted to lamps. So far our collection has only been limited by the hours in a day. This crazy bald head has a long list of creations just waiting for the right pieces to be found.

Show how do we acquire some of our ... oddities? We love to network with friends and one of the good things that has come out of this new fangled internet is the many marketplaces where everyday folks like to get rid of the stuff they no longer want or need to folks like us that look at something and say " I could make a lamp out of that"!

So recently on a very cold, 22 degree night, we ventured off on a drive nearly an hour up into Michigan, (a drive I hate) to pick up a, new to us, item that has been high on my list of must haves...a genuine vintage fire hydrant. Now yes I know, there is one on every corner, trust me, I have eyed them, unfortunately those all seem to be very securely attached to the ground and the main water supply for any given city. The gem we had our sights set on was not connected to anything, except the deep cold nearly frozen mud of a very kind man's yard who had to be standing there watching us thinking, " yep, it's true, one man's trash is another man's treasure". He stood there (luckily still recovering from hernia surgery) watching the 2 of us, tug, pull, wiggle, yank, shake, rock, twist, lift, kick and swear slightly at this hydrant with nearly three extra feet of water line attached to it yet stuck down in the Michigan soil nearly to China. The kind man held a flashlight on us, oh yeah, did I mention we were down his side yard on this steep bank of frosty lawn, in nearly pitch black darkness. Oh and because this opportunity came about at the last minute, one of us did not have any gloves to grab a hold of the frozen cast iron and the other was still wearing banker's attire. Yeah, at about this moment, I thought, oh boy, what have we done, what have I done.

After about ten minutes of the aforementioned tugging, pulling, wiggling, yanking, shaking, rocking, twisting, lifting kicking and swearing at it, I actually had the thought that maybe this crazy bald idea of mine had gone terribly wrong and we might end up driving back to Ohio, hydrant less. Let me paint this cold dark picture for you just a little clearer. I don't know if any of you have ever tried to pull a frozen heavier than... well, let's just say really, really, really heavy old rusty jagged piece of vintage metal out of frozen tundra but as you try to find a secure place to grab it and maintain your leverage and footing,(remember the frosty slippery steep hillside) by the time you've decide that yep, this is how I want this to happen, the cold, no not cold....frigid metal has transferred it's icy grip to your now numb fingers and you loose all your will to live, let alone lift. But as you know, we always say, If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough, so as I dream of an amazing fire hydrant lamp with pipes and bends and curves and lights... I'm not scared but I am trying not to cry. Then somehow, like those miracles you hear about where a mother lifts a car off her child...we found some nearly super human strength and the fire hydrant started to budge. It all played out, there in the dark in slow motion. We were lifting it, and now my main focus turned to not letting it fall and decapitate my toes, do you decapitate toes? Well, whatever you call it, I like my cute little toes and did not want to leave them in this dark snowy yard somewhere in Michigan. So we continued to lift and wiggle and...well you we are somehow maneuvering this cold metal dead weight hydrant closer to the car, oh yeah, don't forget, we are now going to try to put this giant, heavy, cold and dirty hydrant in the backseat of one of the roller-skates of a car that we both drive. Oh, and it's top heavy, which means that if one of us lets go or looses our death grip on it for a split second, it will no doubt fall directly into the side of the car, and without a doubt cause noticeable and distressing damage.

What seems like a few more hours pass, struggling with this dinosaur of a hydrant, we now have it laying on the back seat but of course not in far enough to close the door... and it's once again stuck. Sliding, pushing, pulling and again swearing at it isn't helping, the only way to get it completely into the car is lift....have I mentioned how heavy this is before? So once again, we called upon the Wheaties we had for breakfast many many hours ago to do their breakfast of champions thing and somehow give us the strength to move this thing just a few inches so we can close the door, turn the heater on to dryer mode and hope that we thaw out and will live to tell this story.

We did it! We thanked the nice kind gentleman, gave him our business card so he could better understand why these two crazy bald idiots had done what he just witnessed and we were on our way home.

The next day, not wanting to move that beast one inch farther than we had too, we called in the special forces that we know to come to the parking lot and with some type of super sonic kryptonite saw remove the extra pipe that was very securely attached to the bottom of it and in turn made the hydrant now at least semi manageable to move.

Now he lives in the corner of our showroom, on a dolly awaiting his eventual transformation into a mega-lamp. When it is all finished, the story of how he came to be will be worth it. I am sure it will be blog worthy when that time comes. Now, I still need some more rest maybe some Ben-gay and a long hot shower.

Oh and what's a Henweigh? On average two to three pounds, enough for a good size pot of soup.

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