Wood Turning

Jellyfish LED Lamp

Jellyfish LED Accent Lamp
At the beach last week, my wife and I were browsing through a local store and saw these jellyfish-inspired air plants made with sea urchin shells. Of course, I immediately started thinking about how to create a jellyfish project of my own in the woodshop.
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I started planning in earnest once I got back to the shop. I decided on maple burl for the base. The piece I used looks like coral or a rocky sea floor and adds some atmosphere to the finished lamp. The head is made from Osage Orange and rounded to a graceful curve. To connect the two, I used a rod made of amber acrylic, which was turned down to size, sanded, and then bent using a propane torch to carefully soften the middle section. Again, I was trying to obtain an organic feel, so a gradual curve is important
The tentacles are made from myrtle wood that I carved on the bandsaw and shaped using an oscillating spindle sander. I made several more intricate inner tentacles using the lathe to cut a spiral shape.
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The lamp itself consists of LEDs recessed into the maple base. LEDs are ideal for this because they are small, require little power, and do not generate as much heat as fluorescent or incandescent lights. The acrylic tube helps transmit the light up through the piece and illuminates the tentacles from behind. A piece of blue acrylic sheet cut into a circle acts as a diffuser for the lights in the base while also concealing them from view.
I finished most of the piece using clear lacquer. After four coats, the lamp has a beautiful “wet” look that makes it seem like it’s underwater.
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I had a lot of fun making this piece despite its challenges. I love how it turned out and I hope you do too.




Last week my wife and I were at the beach, and ran across these Jellyfish sea shells. My first thought was how cool! My second thought was how can I turn this into a woodturning project. I used Maple for the base, Myrtlewood for the tentacles, and Osage orange for the body. The orange tube is acrylic I heated up with a torch to bend it.

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