When it comes to shedding light on functional decorative art, the play's the thing for Jack Schainen.
The San Francisco artist creates miniature porcelain oil lamps that are slightly smaller than a matchbox. Their wicks illuminate paperback-size backdrops.
The drama's played out when Schainen's tiny thespians are placed atop the half-lid. When the lamps are illuminated and the backdrop is up, the thespians cast larger-than-life shadows onto it.
The artist's designs are cast and reproduced by Griffin Design. Schainen's oil lamps sell for $15; backdrops run $6.50, and the thespian groups sell for $4.50.
Jack Schainen's lamps are available May 29-31 at the Contemporary Crafts Market, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica, (310) 393-9961, or from Griffin Design, 185 Belvedere St., San Francisco, Calif. 94117, (415) 564-6226.