The brass base of this lamp was originally the casing for a World War I artillery shell created during or after the “War to End All Wars” in 1918. Used shell casings were decorated behind the front lines of the trenches along the Western Front in Belgium and France and belong to a unique genre of folk art called trench art. Brass shell casings were popular canvases for soldiers with artistic skills to create souvenirs to send home to loved ones or to sell to other soldiers. Floral designs were especially popular because they allowed out of stockiers to forget the horrors of trench warfare so convincingly portrayed in the recent film “My Boy Jack.” The creators of most trench art objects will forever remain anonymous but they leave a poignant legacy to the spirit of these talented artists who took scraps from the detritus of war and transformed them into a variety of beautiful objects. The pairing of Sue Johnson’s exceptionally beautiful shades with decorated shell casings from World War I represents a further transformation in the life of these historical objects. For more information on trench art see “Trench Art: An Illustrated History” by Jane A. Kimball.