WHAT IS Hover Craft? an annual holiday shopping extravaganza. This year we will host over 100 artists, crafters, makers and creatives of all sorts selling orignal creations they have designed and made with their own hands. Come and support our creative community while you buy unique gifts for everyone on your list.

12 November 2012

Meet Your Maker: Robert J. Vester

An example of a desk lamp made by Robert J. Vester.  Many more styles will be available at Hover Craft.

New to making, Vester explains how he came to be a vendor at Hover Craft:

"A couple of months ago a friend gave me a few Ferrowatt light bulbs as a gift.  I was immediately drawn to their design.  Specifically, the relationship between the design and functionality.  They're simple things: light bulbs.  Designed for use.  But simple, done correctly, can maximize use.  And usefulness, done correctly, can be beautiful. 

I wanted whatever kind light I put these light bulbs into to be an extension of the design of the bulbs themselves.  I realize that sounds over the top and dramatic, but I just loved the look of them and wanted to maintain their aesthetic.  I wanted the lamps to be built around the light bulbs in an effort to showcase their design.  After initially intending to purchase a few lamps to display the light bulbs, I decided it'd be more affordable and enjoyable to make my own.  Also, I was having a hard time finding what I was looking for.  Luckily, one of my best friends has a wood shop in his basement.  Even luckier, I happen to live in the same building. 

I've always enjoyed using my hands to create things, but somewhere in moving from Chicago to Milwaukee in 2009 to start a new job as a firefighter, that all got pushed aside.  This wasn't anything I'd ever really intended to do, but the itch to use my hands again and the desire to do justice to these great looking light bulbs just kind of coincided perfectly.  I started the whole thing and continue doing it for purely selfish reasons. 

Once I made a few lamps for myself I made a few as gifts.  The more I worked the more the design process started flowing.  It feeds itself, really.  It's been a great outlet for me.  I found myself coming home after working a 24 or 48 hour shift and heading directly into the basement to work on these simple little things all day, not really knowing what I was going to do with the finished products.  Around the same time Hover Craft 2012 was gearing up to take submissions and I'd started kicking around the idea.  I was urged by a good friend and Hover Craft alum, Francisco Ramirez of The Bureau of Print Research and Design, to submit what I'd done.  I'm glad I took the advice.

I'm lucky to have found myself in Milwaukee.  I'm surrounded by all sorts of creative and supportive friends, without whom I would have never even thought to try any of this.  I find it silly, really, that I go down to my basement to make these crude little lights because someone gave me a couple light bulbs: but I'm happy I'm doing it.

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