Today, I’m featuring a very talented local (Portland, OR) artist’s work. I stumbled upon the Ardent Iron Works PDX Facebook page a few months ago and got in touch with Joel, the creative genius behind the name. I was drawn to his steampunk-ish industrial lamps and when I saw a collection of LED-lit custom signs on his page, I knew I’d just found the perfect gift for my husband!
We have a mutual love for the greatest band of all time, Depeche Mode, and I thought it would be awesome to have an LED lamp made for Dale with the infamous rose from DM’s “Violator” album. When I reached out to Joel and described what I was looking for, he did some research and came back to me with a design idea. I loved it! He immediately started the work for my special gift, made from the skeleton of an EXIT sign.
In early January, Joel let me know that my Depeche Mode gift had arrived, but it was the day Portland came to a halt, due to some surprise snow. Reluctantly, I had to wait for the streets to clear before I could pick it up, and when I did get over to the Ardent Iron Works studio, I was blown away by how perfect the finished product looked!! It was so exciting to see how an idea became a physical reality, much like my greeting cards.
I was so giddy and excited to present Dale with his gift, but since it was the only gift he was going to open on his birthday, he wanted to wait for the right time so he could savor the surprise. Speaking of “savor,” I think this bacon wrapping paper looks pretty savory! A friend sent me to the link to order bacon wrapping paper from the National Pork Board and I purchased some for Dale’s birthday.
His reaction to his birthday gift was better than I could possibly have imagined!! He was sooooo full of joy and amazed! The best thing he said was, “This is the kind of gift I was supposed to find for YOU!!” He’s so loving and thoughtful and always goes out of his way to make me feel special. Once I powered up his light and started playing the Depeche Mode Violator album, he was able to see his new LED lamp in action. There are several different settings, but the best one is the setting that causes the D, M and rose to move with the music!! It also pulses if I clap, walk across the floor or speak. Over the past week that Dale’s owned it, he’s told me that he just loves to stare at the beautiful, mesmerizing lights.
I’m so happy I met Joel through his equally cool wife, Tarah Pond. He allowed me to give my husband such an original, special gift. If you’d like to purchase one of these custom lamps, there were four Depeche Mode lamps made, which means there are three left. Please get in touch with Joe through his Ardent Iron Works PDX Facebook page. I know he’ll be happy to work with you! His customer service was excellent, and I am confident we’ll be customers again.
There are also these very cool Oregon Ducks and RIP CITY (Blazers) lamps! He’s always happy to make a custom lamp for his clients.
By the way, I made Joel a black and red Violator rose “thank you” card, of course! 😉