Lava Lamps Are Back As Modern Floor Lamps


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The era of the sixties and seventies will not go down in history as the era of good taste. But among all the crazy trends of those decades is one that I still hold a fond remembrance for: the lava lamp. If you are too young to remember lava lamps. I'll describe one. Picture a wiggly glass tube. filled with slimy liquids that are in the most incredible colors of purple. neon green. hot pink. etc. Lumps of some blobby material floated through this mass of color as it undulated in the tube. Sounds lovely. no? Yet. whenever I was around a lava lamp. I would be mesmerized by the slowly swirling colors and the floating blobs. I found it very relaxing and would further enhance this experience with the aroma of joss sticks and the sound of sitar music. I felt that lava lamps were a harmless way to relax and chill out.

Lava lamps are still available today. and I imagine they are being purchased by children of the sixties to recreate that era or by young people of today who enjoy a retro look. Despite their inherent ugliness. I still find them relaxing and oddly comforting. Maybe I equate them with an age when I was still young. optimistic and had dreams. I have even considered buying one. knowing full well that it would clash with everything in my home. I don't know how I would explain it to my cool. Ikea-decorated friends. The appeal of contrast? An ironic comment? In thinking about it. I realize it would not be such a good idea. Back in those days. I could afford to sit aroud in a dreamlike state; today. I have way too much to do. The modern version of the lava lamp is the Plasma Lamp. They do not have the appeal of lava lamps to me. They seem like something out of a science lab or clinical experiment. Lava lamps have a personal appeal. almost with a soul of their own. The best ones were the purple ones. especially if viewed while listening to Jimi Hendrix’ Purple Haze. I believe you can make a valid character judgement about someone based on their preferred lava lamp color. Some psychologist should conduct a study on it.

The lava lamp was invented by Craven Walker. and it is rumored that. like most great inventions. like vulcanization and post-it notes. it came about by accident. He was certainly not aware that he invented the symbol of a culture and an era. Even though lava lamps are intended to be fun. make sure you read any of the warning labels on a lava lamp. One impatient (and stupid) man failed to do this. with dire consequences. In 2004. this young gentleman bought a lava lamp and wanted it to start its bubbling twists and turns right away. Instead of waiting for it to warm up normally. he put it on a stove burner. and the glass exploded and a shard of it pierced his heart. There are even those who try to make their own lava lamps. and they are really looking for trouble.

Andrew Caxton is a journalist who has written more articles and newsletters on the subject for A focused website that offers the best articles on lava lamps and lighting , read more at modern floor lamps


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