Thursday, October 20, 2011

Light box

I moved my light box out to the studio yesterday and actually sat down and did some work.

Do you know what a light box, or light table is? Do you use one? It is one of my favorite tools.

They are used for a lot of things.  If you want to look at slides (remember slides?) closeup, you lay them out on a light table. Architects and engineers use them to create overlays of plans—or at least they used to before they used Auto-cad on their computers to draw their plans. I used one in a calligraphy class years ago. You could lay a sheet of paper with lines on it on the light surface, then a plain sheet over it that you wrote on, using the lines that showed through as a guide. I use mine to trace parts of a design onto fabric for fusing. Couldn't function without it. If you don't have one, you can tape your design to a bright window, tape the fabric over it and trace. A very nifty light table can be improvised if you have a table that opens up to accept a leaf. Just open it up as wide as you need, put a piece of glass over it spanning the opening in the table and set a small lamp on the floor underneath.

I got really lucky. I found this one at a yard sale many years ago, for a great price as I recall. It was from an engineering office. It is sitting on an old typewriter (remember those?) stand, just like this one. Goes nicely with the chair, I think. Yeah, I have a lot of old stuff.


  1. Thank you for making this site very interesting! Keep going! You're doing very well!

  2. Such a simple concept but so useful. I do miss typewriters too-also simple. I use an opaque projector for some of my work and when I bought the thing I was amazed to see that it is just a box, a light bulb , and a mirror. Just as easy as it can get.

    Your studio space looks wonderful:)

  3. Anonymous5:37 AM

    For years I have improvised for my light table using a large piece of plate glass set on four cones of thread with a one-tube florescent under-the-counter lamp under the glass.

  4. My DS brought home two large light tables that he picked up at a scrap parts auction where he works. Large as in drafting table size. Wish you were nearing to me as I'd give you one just to get it out of the garage.

  5. I was wondering what you would do with that space.

  6. My lightbox is a a Mickey Mouse Light Box. Small (a child's toy) and not that great but it works for small projects. I used it pretty often when I was doing needle turn appliqué.

    I saw a drafting table in the line up of garage sales this weekend. I would love one of those if the table tilted and made a working surface which isn't a wall. But would I use it? I haven't made anything since the carrots. Will I ever make anything again???????

  7. Jean S.8:45 AM

    I have a small light box I bought at Michaels, but also discovered a small strip florescent under the clear acrylic extension table for my sewing machine works too.