Lamp maker goes vintage, whimsical, and a little steampunk in his creations

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 2:15pm

    TENANTS HARBOR — If you’ve never seen the fanciful designs of Lamp Revival, it’s because Tenants Harbor lamp maker Maurice Klapfish doesn’t do much advertising. As a part-time business, it suits him to sell his creations built with salvaged electrical parts through his wife’s Tenants Harbor store, Stonefish, or through his website.

    The Klapfishes moved permanently to the area from Boston 15 years ago. His wife, Anne, first opened her eclectic home goods and antique store, Stonefish, in Port Clyde, before moving to the old Jackson Memorial Library building in Tenants Harbor.

    Maurice, a retired electrical engineer, caught a spark of an idea one day.

    “Anne used to bring junk back from yard sales and antique shops,” he said. “One day she brought home some vintage candle bowling pins and asked me, ‘Can you make a lamp from this?’ I took a look at them and agreed to try.”

    His first lamp assembled the three candle pins, ran the wiring up the middle and then fashioned a red striped peppermint candy-like lampshade to go with it. He’d discovered a new passion and was hooked.

    Today, he likes to comb through junkyards and second-hand shops, particularly Larry’s Second Hand Store, a side business of reclaimed materials at the St. George Transfer Station, or the Treasures and Trash barn in Searsport.

    Almost all of his work stems from quirky things he finds. He’s made table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling lights from a variety of found materials: surveyor’s tripods, discarded musical instruments, old sports gear, lamp parts and pipe fittings. A trio of retro-futuristic lamps sit in the window of Stonefish constructed from parts of a junked player piano and look as though they belong in a film based on an H.G. Wells story.

    His music-themed lamps include a French horn, a brass trumpet, a clarinet, a recycled Washburn Acoustic Guitar and a nearly destroyed drum salvaged and repaired from the transfer station. In addition, he also handcrafts lamp shades made from accordions.

    “Clients just love the musical stuff,” he said.

    Writers, too, get equal time in his world. His Royal Typewriter Ceiling Light was put together from a dissected Royal Portable Standard Model O (circa 1930s) and reconstructed into a nostalgic ceiling light. The cylindrical shade with text encases the bulb.

    Steampunk designs also appeal to Klapfish. His most favorite creation is a lamp made from a salvaged high pressure industrial control panel.

    “I had a hard time parting with that one,” he said.

    He’s fashioned other steampunk lamps from steam and machine age components such as pipes and pipe fittings, gauges, gears, valves, bulb cages, sockets, clocks and other industrial hardware.

    “I think it’s just the engineer in me,” he said. “When all these salvaged old gears, valves and junk come together, the results are truly amazing.”

    To see other fantastical lamps he creates, visit

    Kay Stephens can be reached at