I am Dean Dillinger and I make lamps. I do not have a really good story about how I came to be making lamps, it just kind of happened. I started by making lamps from vintage cameras and vintage tripods. After a while, I began making lamps out of just about anything. This is my current creative outlet. I like figuring out how to wire up something that was never intended for a lamp.
I am originally from Wilmore, Kansas (current population is 56. Really!). In the extraordinarily small town, there is still no cell service and no paved streets. I left Willmore and eventually graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Kansas State University and then started a career at nuclear power plants that would last another 34 years. Cheryl (my wife and soulmate) and I moved away from the cold Illinois weather to Aiken 2 years ago to accept a job at the Savannah River Site.
The quarantine has been interesting. Before this pandemic, Cheryl and I would take day trips to antique stores. We have done that for most of our 29 years together. With the antique stores and the ReStore closed, I have had to be a bit more creative and have had to make more use of previously acquired parts and pieces. Of course, eBay is still open, and I have sourced lots of raw materials from that site.
I like the process of making the lamps. Apparently, I do not enjoy selling them near as much as I like making them because I have a huge stockpile (like 50 lamps!). Most have not been advertised or listed anywhere. They are all going to Aiken’s Makin’ if I don’t find motivation or time to sell them on Etsy (my store is called FocusOnLight) or on my Facebook Page (also FocusOnLight) or eBay (shameless self-promotion).
Y’all stay safe!