What’s an OrLanu or 6 Million Lights workshop like? Here’s some background information…
Our workshops consist of two components: 1)Lamp construction, and 2) “Process” surrounding the lamp-making. “Process” refers to time spent in discussion, wisdom-sharing, reflection and journaling.
While the arts & craft process of lamp-making is an important part of our workshops, our ultimate focus is NOT on lamp-making, but rather on meaning-making, intention-making and light-making.
Lamp-making is a tool, not an end-goal. Our communal end-goal is doing the humble work of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and we do this on an individual basis by putting more light into the world, by nurturing and sharing each of our unique lights, and by nurturing and encouraging the light of others.
The finished lamps our participants craft are beautiful, but they’re also a way for our participants to “take the workshop experience home” with them.
In subsequent weeks and months and years the lamps will not only provide beauty and light, but they can also serve as luminous reminders of the intention and meaning brought to the lamp-making. And as participants have shared with us, the meaning and intention surrounding the lamps may change over time.
Our workshops vary widely depending upon the focus of the workshop, but most are 5-6 hours in total over two separate sessions, each of which is 2.5 – 3.0 hours long. Roughly half the time is spent in lamp-making and the remainder in process. Having two separate sessions allows for an easier lamp-making process and also allow time for supplemental activities and reflection between sessions.
However, we adapt our workshops depending upon the goals and circumstances. For example, some workshops are three sessions of two hours each. Or, when working with organizations such as camps and schools, we can take the lamp-making and discussion/reflection process and divide it into multiple sessions – ranging from three separate sessions to as many as fifteen! Of course, in the latter case, each session is much shorter.
Longer workshops are also possible – especially if one wishes to deepen the art/craft experience or the discussion, reflection and wisdom-sharing process surrounding the lamp-making.
We’ll usually spend one to 1.5 hours with introductions, process, discussion and reflection before diving into the lamp-making. By the time our participants launch into lamp construction they’ve begun considering the meaning and intention they’ll bring to their lamp construction, and they’re ready to start crafting.
Some participants are initially nervous about the prospect of making a lamp, but we reassure them that we’ve had scores of lamp-makers ranging in age from 2 to 104 years – some with significant disabilities – and we’ve never had a failure!
If our participants doubt their abilities as arts and crafters, we reassure them that everyone’s an artist. But we also reassure them that this doesn’t have to be an art project. They can have fun and relax because no matter what, they’ll end up with a beautiful lamp.
The first step is selecting paper from an array of alluring selections…
…then wrapping the potential paper around a lighted cylinder to witness its miraculous transformation from the light within.
After selecting their paper, participants then select additional optional decorations, such as raffia or cut-outs that they can apply to their paper.
The next step is attaching the paper to a sheet of plastic using a water-based acrylic gel…
..then coating the exposed outer surface of the paper with that same gel.
Finally, our participants attach optional decorative items and the papers are set aside to dry.
In our second session, we usually dive right into the lamp-making as everyone is anxious to create their finished lamps!
Participants fashion their flat lampshade into a cylinder…
and then fit a base into the cylinder……
…which accommodates a pre-manufactured electric cord set.
There are a couple of finishing steps including hot-gluing the back seam of the paper cylinder…..
…and using a glue gun to attach additional optional decorative items
….then finally a CFL or LED bulb is screwed into the lamp fixture and we test it out.