Tom Boy Lamps by Rosie Burgess
Tom Boy Lamps are the latest creative project by Melbourne musician, Rosie Burgess. After many years spent touring the globe with her band, The Rosie Burgess Trio, she has happily settled into a little house with her partner and a conglomerate of cats, children and veggies, and most importantly, a rocking home studio. These days, when she’s not playing gigs, she’s writing lesbian romance fiction and turning drums into lamps.
1) Can you describe the moment when this creative business idea clicked?
It sort of snuck up on me really. A year ago my girlfriend moved in, and she is also the drummer in my band, so of course she brought her super hot drum kit to live with us. That meant my old drum kit was suddenly obsolete! I came home one day to find it out on the nature strip, and I was like, ‘no way! There must be something I can do with these.’ I guess you could say I had a bit of a lightbulb moment, if you’ll pardon the pun, and after some consideration, I turned them into lamps J.
2) Are they made by hand? Can you explain the process a bit?
It’s pretty simple really: I need to do a bit of soldering with the wires and drilling to fix in the lights but most of the work is in assembling the electricals. I try to keep the drums as intact as possible—original skins and all, where possible.
3) What type of variations are there between each Tom Boy Lamp? (color/artwork/type of drum)?
Every single lamp is unique because they’re all rescued drums. I’ve been collecting drum kits, buying up second-hand ones from places like the internet and garage sales, etc. Each drum has come from a different musician, so has its own special history, color, and artwork. Drummers traditionally put their own logo on their kick drums and I keep that kind of stuff on so you can get a real feel for where your drum came from.
4) Do your lamps signify a special connection with music?
Absolutely. I love these drums. You can see they’ve been played—some of them have been played so hard there are pock marks in the skins, some have been looked after so lovingly they still shine. But each one comes from someone who had a blast playing music and that’s what I love about them! You can walk past your lamp and give it a little tap and connect, for a moment, to a rocking, sweating drummer who was having the time of their life playing music.
5) When, where and how do I get a hold of one?
Interview by Aurora Jane