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Posted on Jul 23, 2015

Soap Lake fires up plans to build Giant Lava Lamp

SOAP LAKE — Plans are bubbling again at this lakeside city to erect a 60-foot-tall Giant Lava Lamp, a project now in the works for more than 13 years.
The city council has hired a Spokane law firm to research any trademark issues that could arise by using Lava Lamp’s registered name, brand and distinctive lamp shape. Raising $1 million to erect and light the lamp would come next.
“We’re doing our due diligence before we seriously start raising money for the project,” said Mayor Raymond Gravelle.
The city will pay $10,000 to Lee & Hayes, a firm specializing in patent and trademark law, to look into the possibility of the city actually using the name “Lava Lamp” for its project. The money comes from the city’s $142,000 Lava Lamp fund.
Back in 2002, Soap Lake artist and gallery owner Brent Blake — known regionally for his imaginative projects — came up with the idea for a Giant Lava Lamp when he heard a retailer in New York City was dismantling a large replica of the cultural icon. He had the replica trucked to Soap Lake, but it was never assembled. Blake died in 2013 before his vision could be realized.
In 2011, a group of Soap Lake residents led by architect Andy Kovach took on the project. They introduced a design that forgoes heated liquid in a glass tower — like a real Lava Lamp — and instead uses internal laser projection onto a fabric “skin” to simulate a lamp’s motion.
The group would like to use the lamp for nightly shows, festivals and other special occasions, but needs to first raise money for its construction. The project has been endorsed by city and county civic and business groups.
Gravelle said the city is looking at every possibility when it comes to funding, even naming rights.
“It suits the quirkiness of our town and the spirit of our residents,” said Gravelle. “Plus, here we sit, surrounded by lava fields. Isn’t this the ideal location for a Lava Lamp?”


— By Mike Irwin, Wenatchee World