Five Finds: Fancy That

This week a departure. A departure from the usual collection of the new and forthcoming collections for five discoveries that are more, shall we say unusual. I have come across them over the last few weeks and wanted to share them with you … see what you think.

The first is from Iceland and it’s lights made from dried fish. Yes, you read that right.

lights made from dried skinned cod
lights made from dried skinned cod

I actually think they’re rather cool. It’s only when you realise what they’re made from dried cod perhaps you want to stop and think again. I came across them when I was researching a piece about Iceland for the FT.

Since the country’s three major banks collapsed in 2008 the economic recovery has been led in large part by the creative industries to such a degree that it is now Iceland’s major economic asset.

They’re making great things there with their natural resources one of which is the vast amount of fish. The idea came from the ancient Icelandic tradition of drying fish to preserve them. They are made to commission and cost around €625 each. Tempted? If you want to know more visit

Next up it’s the Parmesan Cheese Lamp. I told you it was a week of unusual finds.

parmesan cheese lamp
parmesan cheese lamp

Now, I will admit to being slightly disappointed by this one. I came across it (when the company tweeted me) about two days after I found the fish above and it was only afterwards that I realised that this is made from plastic and not from, you know yer actual, parmesan cheese rind.

I appreciate that the manufacturers thought there might be issues of smell and durability with cheese, but if they can do it with a dried fish then who knows where a bit of cheese rind could take you? After all, I’ve got several in my freezer which I chuck into soups and things and it seems pretty hardwearing to me.

Anyway it costs €200 and while I think its first place is probably in a restaurant, it could also work in a domestic kitchen and would certainly be a talking point.

If you want to know more visit their website.

Moving on to Jelly Fish lights. Now, given the previous examples, I can understand if it’s your turn to be disappointed that these aren’t actually made from jelly fish but merely inspired by.

jelly fish lights
jelly fish lights

Designed by Roxy Russell, it’s called the Medusae Collection and prices start at around $350. In an interview with Viktor Van Gasbeek, the Californian designer said: “I wanted to illuminate the growing problem of plastic polluting our oceans in a way that makes people inspired to help.

“We have a floating island of plastic garbage in the Pacific that is twice the size of Texas. Up to 70 per cent of this plastic is below the surface, broken down into tiny pieces,becoming a toxic part of the eco-system. Countless fish and birds die from mistaking these bits for food.”

Russell’s lights are made from PET, a recyclable form of plastic. She said: “We will never be able to completely eliminate something as versatile as plastics. The reason that they (PET) are used up to a large extent and considered ‘environmental friendly’ is because it is safe, non-toxic, doesn’t have plasticizers, and don’t contain heavy metals. Of course, the main advantages of this polymer are that these can be recycled.

“We must, however put more thought into how disposable it is, and its role in our everyday lives.”

For more information visit roxy russell

Fourth in our list comes taxidermy. Yes, it’s a wall light made from a stuffed squirrel.

taxidermy squirrel wall lights
taxidermy squirrel wall lights

This is where I sort of draw my own personal line and it’s illogical I realise that. I’m quite happy to have a dried cod hanging from my ceiling. I’m sad that the cheese lamp isn’t made from real cheese and I honestly wouldn’t be offended by a dead jelly fish undulating gently in the breeze but squirrels? Stuffed? I’m not sure.

Having said that, The FT’s How to Spend it magazine, recently ran a piece highlighting just how collectable taxidermy is these days.

Made by Atelier Randall, they are humanely culled by the Natural Forestry Commission and private landowners to try and regain some balance in nature.

For more information visit Alex Randall. They cost £550 by the way.

I’m also going to send you to Rockett St George, where you will find another of Alex’s lamps. This time it’s a table lamp and it’s made from a pigeon and it costs £600. And, as much as I hate pigeons I do rather love this. And, the more I look at the squirrels the more I’m coming round to them…

Alex Randall pigeon light from rockett st george
Alex Randall pigeon light from rockett st george

And last, but not least etc, we return to the marine theme with these lights with shades made from dried seaweed.

Nir Meiri marine light
Nir Meiri marine light

Made by Tel Aviv designer Nir Meiri, the lamps were first shown at Milan 2013 and are created from seaweed stretched over a metal frame. It dries, then shrinks and is coated with a preservative.

These are perhaps the most normal looking of the lot aren’t they? For more information visit Meiri’s website here.

And it’s not that I can’t count but when this one dropped into my inbox yesterday, I thought it was perfect to round off this week’s selection of oddities. The latest offering from Smeg is a fridge made out of a car.

smeg fiat 500 fridge

“Because a refrigerator is not just an electrical appliance and a bonnet is not just a car part.” Apparently. It will cost around £5,000 and will be made to order.









Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


    1. I love that this post has attracted such varying comments. Mainly on twitter sadly, so you can’t all read them. But it’s a pretty even spread between those who hate the jellyfish (spooky) and love the cheese, or are revolted by the squirrels and find the fish strangely fascinating.

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