Reply by clin

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Posted on What makes something an heirloom?

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1057 posts in 1475 days

#1 posted 03-14-2018 11:32 PM

To me it has a lot to do with what it is. If it’s some silly gag wall decoration, that’s not heirloom material. It should be something that someone would want to have regardless. A well made chair or lamp for example. Nothing too extreme in styling. I think something of inherent quality matters.

I do think things that were made or used by ancestors have that value. There’s something very special about using a tool you know your grandfather used. But there’s a difference between a hand plane (that even non-woodworkers can admire) and the calculator grandpa used.

Something I just made, was a table lamp made from the porch light of my grandparents home. That was also used on several of my aunt’s homes over the years. It was trivial for me to make a lamp out of it. Nothing more than a square board with a lamp base in it that the porch light fixture attached to. But, it looks great. The fixture itself is copper with stained glass inserts. I’m sure it was probably what amounted to a tract home light fixture at the time (1910). I attached a description of it’s provenance to the bottom and it will be a little bit of family history that can easily be passed down. It has heirloom potential. I know my kids will appreciate it, but who knows what their kids may think of it.

-- Clin

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