Let there be light on suspended cablesIt's...


Let there be light on suspended cables

It's like track lighting -- only without the track. And it's the hottest trend in lighting from Los Angeles to New York. Low-voltage cable suspension systems are the next generation after track lighting, meant to be a look in their entirety: the thin, insulated cables as well as the fixtures that are attached to them. The effect of the halogen bulbs arranged on parallel running cables is wonderfully dramatic, high tech and very contemporary.

The cost depends on the number and length of cables used and the lighting elements. Robbie Hildreth, lighting consultant for Dorman's Lighthouse, installed a system for a powder room that used about eight feet of cable and four elements; it cost roughly $300. Dorman's uses the Trolli System by Lighting Technologies Inc.

Thunder & Light, a New York-based company, makes the StaSystem. You can can get a copy of its catalog by calling (212) 677-5267.

Some show houses give their designers free rein. The result is a hodgepodge of design styles and concepts, which can be fascinating. But the ninth annual Decorators' Show House to benefit Historic Ellicott City Inc. takes a different tack.

The 18th-century house's 24 interior designers have decorated its rooms in styles reminiscent of the period, so it has a unity such show places often lack. "And we try to make it look as if you can walk in and live here," says Bette Chambers, design chairwoman. "Not overloaded with furniture and accessories."

The show house, Discovery Farm, is a fieldstone and cedar home with 16 acres of pastures, woodlands, a walled kitchen vegetable garden and elaborate herb gardens. The original kitchen may have been built as early as 1760.

Discovery Farm, located at 12549 Folly Quarter Road in Glenelgwill be open from next Sunday through Oct. 24. Tickets are available through the mail until Friday by sending a check for $6 and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Mrs. William Filbert, 4616 New Cut Road, Ellicott City 21043. Admission is $8 at the door. For more information, call (410) 461-4861.

Jamaican potter Samuel Wallace had come to the United States for nine years as part of a seasonal agricultural workers program before he finally ended up in Baltimore. He would return each year to Jamaica after the harvest season to make pots by traditional methods he learned in backyard pottery sheds in St. Elizabeth Parish. In Baltimore, the potter got his clay at construction sites where he was working.

Baltimore Clayworks discovered him one day in the spring of 1992 when he walked in with his pots, looking for a place to fire them. He had found Clayworks in the Yellow Pages. Since then he's become a respected figure in the Maryland art community, receiving grants to support his professional development, teaching workshops and giving demonstrations.

You can see Samuel Wallace's work in a solo exhibition entitled ** "Traditional Jamaican Pottery," currently being held at the Baltimore Clayworks gallery through Oct. 2. Call (410) 578-1919 for more information.

Take a little time to work in your yard now, and you'll be glad you did next spring and summer. Here's a suggested checklist for September from the Landscape Contractors Association.

* Plant trees and shrubs now.

* Fertilize your lawn using 50 percent organic 10-6-4 fertilizer.

* Don't prune spring flowering shrubs such as azaleas. You'll be removing next year's buds.

* Seed your lawn. Rake thoroughly to remove thatch build-up if you're over-seeding.

* Plant spring flowering bulbs.

* Plan your fall clean-up now.

* Apply lime to turf areas. Test soil pH in order to determine application rates.

* Apply broad-leaf weed control. (Needs to be done three to four weeks before reseeding.)

* While the weather is warm, spider mites and lace bugs can still be a problem. Control them with Isotox or Orthene as the manufacturer recommends.

For information on specifics of planting, fertilizing or pest control, talk to your local garden store or nursery.

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