Shirley and the Lamps

I was cruising around Grand Marketplace looking for somebody in need of assistance, or at least in need of measuring tape, when I came across Doug Nakanishi and Shirley Yancey chatting it up. Shirley Yancey rewires and creates lamps; her business is called Lamps by Shirley. I noticed a flock of heart shaped baking pans hanging from an inverted old school clothes dry-rack. I asked Shirley how long she’s been collecting them, and she told me they are new to her and she had no idea how long the man she bought them from had been collecting these oh so cute pans.

Doug teased that all this girly baking stuff was a sign that Shirley is going soft on him, even though they have both been known for their hardcore industrial aesthetic. Both Doug and Shirley are veterans of Stars antique mall. Doug says everybody took a look at his stuff, appropriately named Vintage Rust, and told him he had to go find the “industrial lady”. Shirley shrugs, as if its all kind of happenstance, but admits her place at Stars is much more industrial. Right now she has quite a few baking and cooking oriented items, and even some industrial baking pieces. And, that’s just the way it goes.

Above are some industrial baking pans  Shirley has for sale and a large cheese strainer. Shirley also has some more industrial items, that offset all the baking stuff. Like these iron fleur de lis and this large metal card file.

Next to the former hay feeder is a lamp made from an industrial whisk and some piping.

I suspect Shirley has a lot of fun with these things. She says she enjoys this lamp because she doesn’t know what it could of possibly have been used for before

These lamps have a coat of something that gives the interior that leopard print look.

Shirley started with lamps shades in 1982 and soon got into rewiring lamps. She originally wanted her business moniker to be “The Shady Lady,” but somebody had already snagged that name. Other people stealing her name seems to be a particular problem of Shirley’s. A few years after starting her business Lamps by Shirley, she found out that someone else was making lamps and using the same name. Shirley was less surprised by this than by the time another lady Shirley Yancey started took up residence in her city and started frequenting her small bank and salon. What are the odds?

In spite of these name dopplegangers, an interesting trial for anyone to hazard, Shirley has persisted and continues to make interesting lamps and sell things she likes.

Eventually, I had to ask Shirley which lamp was her favorite. She said her favorite is this movie spotlight, since it is half glamorous and half industrial. It even has the production company’s name painted on the base.

I was snapping some pictures of the lamps when I turned the camera on her saying, “Shirley, look sassy!” She said she didn’t know how to “do sassy” as I took the picture.