UpCycle Progress: Hemp Lamp

The project I have chosen to go forward with for my UpCycle Project is a hemp lamp constructed from scrap wood and materials found in the ITLL such as wires, light bulbs, and hemp. My main tool for cutting the wood is the laser cutter in the ITLL. I have spent all semester up to now practicing with the laser cutters, testing different types of wood and different thicknesses, as well as getting familiar with CorelDraw, which is the software that the laser cutters at school use. The aesthetic I am pursuing is warm lighting along with natural aesthetic (being the wood and hemp). Here are some pictures of the scrap wood found at the ITLL, the laser cutter I have been practicing on, the software I have been getting to know (CorelDraw), and a few practice things I have cut and engraved.

Figure 1. Scrap wood found at the ITLL.

Figure 2. The laser cutter at school.

Figure 3. Example image of design in CorelDraw.

Figure 4. Some things I have laser cut on different types of wood and different thicknesses.


All images were taken by me.

Benjamin Robles

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Kensue Kiatoukaysy
    February 10, 2020 11:24 am

    Hello Benjamin,

    I think this was a very interesting project! Its using upcycle material and making a functional thing out of it. When I came in as a freshmen I remember the ITLL not allowing laser cutting on wood but i’m glad now that they allow it! Choosing wood was a great idea because it’s a cheap material and easy to work with it. Something I would show on this post is what the final product is going to look like as i’m having a bit of trouble how the laser cutting design fits together.

    • Benjamin Robles
      February 11, 2020 6:49 pm

      Hello Kensue,

      Thank you for the feedback. Wood also gives it an organic aesthetic to it. And actually, I like the suspense. You will have to wait to see the final product. Also, if you take a look at my inspiration post, you will get a very good idea.


  • Hi, Benjamin,

    I like your idea of choosing hemp lamp! I think the lamp itself is an interesting object that utilize modern technology, like the use of electricity, while having the natural element embedded. And it fits perfectly into our class topic of aesthetics. The only thing that I’m curious about your project would be, how are you going to construct the thing? Are you going to make a wooden base with the materials that you have, form a lamp, and just cover it up with hemp? Or are you going to go with a more innovative design? I saw a couple of very interesting “hemp lamps” while browsing through google images: shorturl.at/kAN23 and shorturl.at/dwKX7 for example. It’s amazing to see how diverse those designs can all be, for this one topic that seems to be simple. Anyway, I’m excited to see how your design can turn out to be. And it would be even better if there is a sketch that illustrates your idea in the post.

    Also, just wondering, where did you find all the scrap woods located at? Is it in the woodshop-like place in the basement one floor down the classroom? Oh, another thing to mention, since you are using lasercutting for the design, there would be quite a lot of woodburning smell as I imagine, especially that you are applying the material to a lamp, with a heat source, that might get worse. I don’t necessarily have a good solution to that, besides choosing possibly thinner easy to cut through wooden pieces, since the smell seems to get worse each time it is lasercutted.

    Good luck with your project.



    • Benjamin Robles
      February 11, 2020 6:55 pm

      Hello Xiang,

      I am going to construct the lamp’s structure with the wood by designing a structure on CorelDraw and laser cutting it to fit together. Then wrapping the hemp around it. I couldn’t open the link you sent… it said it couldn’t find it.
      A sketch would be a good addition to this post, thank you.
      I found the wood in the woodshop in the bottom floor of the ITLL. I already finished the lamp and the smell or the heat is not a problem. I let the wood sit out and vent after laser cutting it for a while before putting it together into the lamp.



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