Last month, something caught my eye in a Consuming Louisville post about Feast, a new BBQ restaurant in New Albany. It wasn’t just the food, it was this light fixture.
Those are Mason Jars. Mason Jars made into a big light fixture.
Then I remembered another picture I had seen recently from the Original Makers Club dinner series with these light fixtures.
Both are made by artisan Jacqui Van Ham.
After some light internet stalking, I found her Etsy page and her business, VanVintage. I realized then that I had unknowingly profiled her mason jar dispensers as one of my SB Finds in June. These are sold at Gifthorse on Market St.
Mason Jars are her medium. Not old Mason Jars either, but the special blue ones from 1900-1940. She travels all over the region looking for them. She calls her collection “Farmhouse Meets the Warehouse.”
She graciously showed me her studio last month and I was so impressed. I’m always intrigued by creativity and Jacqui really takes it to another level. She describes herself as “Professional Scrapper/Scrounger. Most often found at auctions in Kentucky and Indiana; weakness for vintage wood boxes/crates and Ball/Mason jars…”
She can turn this:
Or even this:
In fact, she whipped that wall sconce up real quick, right in front of me. You know, because doing that is just so easy…wiring, scraping, did I say working with electricity, etc. She did this like she was filing a paper or something.
Did I mention that she is adorable? And she is interesting: She was the sommelier at 610 Magnolia for years; she has a major interest in vintage motorcycles; she is an expert on auctions and glass and all things about Mason Jars. Here’s how her collection started:
For the past year I have been addicted to collecting and hunting vintage Ball Mason jars; specifically the Pale Blue jars made in Muncie, Indiana from 1900-1940. These jars are the real deal, no reproductions!
After amassing/hoarding quite a collection of them, I found myself imagining how I could incorporate these cool jars into my everyday life. Their having survived this long; after being put to YEARS of good use (canning and storing food for generations, not to mention their illicit lives transporting moonshine and illegally made whiskey) really struck a chord. I was looking for a way to show my respect to them, if you will. Re-purposing them into something that could be used again, everyday.
Mason Jars are not her only medium. She’s dabbling in bourbon bottles now. Here is her Makers Mark bottle chandelier:
Here is the chandelier she was making from Four Roses Bourbon Bottles when I met her:
Jacqui provided the lights for the “Louisville Village” area of the Forecastle Festival, using her caged Mason jar lights. The organizers of the “Bourbon Lodge” at Forecastle had seen the Makers chandelier and requested something for their lodge.
Jacqui says: There were three bourbon sponsors for Forecastle, Four Roses being one of them. I love their traditional/rustic labels and provenance, and designed something custom for them. It was a challenge building something from scratch with only two weeks notice, but I stayed up a few late nights and got it done. I hand-antiqued all the bottles, added some nice textural elements, and some rustic touches to the new design- and it really came together quite well (but, I’m probably a little biased!) The folks at Four Roses were really happy with it, and I am hoping it goes to a happy home!
Here is the finished product that hung in the Bourbon Lodge at Forecastle:
Here’s a shot of one her caged lights at the Forecastle Festival.
I can’t wait to see what she does next.
In the meantime, you can buy her products on Etsy by clicking here. You can reach her by email if you would like a custom fixture done by clicking here. You can also buy her dispensers and caged lights at Gifthorse on Market and Revelry Gallery Boutique on Barret. They both carry limited selections of dispensers and caged mason jar lights.