Verner Panton

lightjunction: lots to see at &Tradition -- copper, a new colour, a fine glass light, and Ice

&Tradition BLOWN pendant light

lightjunction, our new fine lighting event, will be collocated with designjunction at the Sorting office on New Oxford Street during London Design week, 18-22 September 2013

Above is Blown, a wonderful new pendant by Samuel Wilkinson for Danish company &Tradition. It is Ø280mm H280mm and comes in two finishes -- sandblasted, and translucent with a silver lustre. Wilkinson (who is also responsible for the design of the Plumen lamp) wanted to explore the reflections, distortions and refraction of light in glass.

The result is a simple, elegant form that is nevertheless complex in detail. To get it right, contemporary CAD techniques are used to control the exact pattern, texture and thee-dimensional shaping of the glass, whilst traditional glass blowing crasftsmanship is used to create each piece.

Good on their own, they are also terrific in groups:

&Tradition Blown glass pendant lights in a group

Other &tradition novelties involve new materials and new colours for existing designs.

We keep banging on about the shortage of copper lights, so we are thrilled that they are bringing out brass versions of three of their designs, Norm's Mass, Utzon's Tivoli and Verner Panton's Flowerpot:

Copper pendant lights from &Tradition Mass and Tivoli are copper finishes, as is usual, but Flowerpot is solid copper, lacquered white on the inside -- such warmth, such authority, such luxury!

The new colour is a matt grey, giving an industrial, urban, concrete look, as can be seen in these Spinning Lights BH1s and BH2s:

&Tradition matt grey Spinning Lights pendants

To understand details like finishes, and the effects of new colours and materials, it is necessary to see the light for yourself. that is why we have created lightjunction to give you the opportunity to do so.

Finally, the designs formerly sold through Refer & Staer are now available through &Tradition. These include Sofie's ever-popular Ice chandeliers:

Sofie Refer Ice Chandelier from &Tradition


lightjunction 18 22 September 2013

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lightjunction: trend #4 -- classic designs of the 20th century

Kalmar Dornstab floor light set

lightjunction, our new fine lighting event, will be collocated with designjunction at the Sorting Office on New Oxford Street during Londonn Design Week, 18-22 September 2013

The most significant trend in lighting over the last few years has been the re-issuing of classic designs from the past. All the great architects of the 20th century created lights; they should be available to us and increasingly they are.

The Viennese company Kalmar is 130 years old, so they have extensive archives, that include works designed by Josef Frank for Haus und Garten. They have started plundering them, in order to create their Werkstätten collection. The pieces are beautifully made -- here is a closeup of one of the hooks used to suspend the light in the Dornstab (shown in the image above) that allow you to position it in the perfect position for you to read by:

Kalmar Dornstab floor light reading light detail

Bringing these designs back also boosts our lightjunction trend #2 (carved and polished dark woods).

Also in Vienna, Woka are one of the two most important companies to be bringing back pre-war designs (the other being Tecnolumen, who focus on the Bauhaus and Modernist designs of the '20s and '30s). They benefit from founder Wolfgang Karolinsky's deep knowledge of and understanding of the early 20th century design movements in Vienna -- e.g. the Wiener Werkstätte, the Vienna Secession and the work of Josef Hoffmann.

The quality of both the design and the production of Woka items mean that they are for true connoisseurs. For example, when part of the Palais Stoclet was reconstructed at the Lower Belvedere for last year's exhibition Gustav Klint/Joseph Hoffmann -- Pioneers of Modernism, it was Woka to whom they turned to recreate the ceiling lights.

Here is their beautiful AD7 wall light in polished brass and glass, an anonymous art déco design from 1926:

Woka AD7 wall light

It can be nickel-plated -- or, because they do all the work themselves in their own workshops, they can make special versions for you.

But some of the finest 20th designs are in the collections of Scandinavian lighting companies.

&Tradition have Verner Panton's Flowerpot in two sizes, 13 different colours and finishes, and in various typologies (floor, table, wall). They look fabulous on their own, of course...

&Tradition Verner Panton Flower Pot pendant light red

...but they are also particularly well-suited to being hung in groups:

&Tradition FlowerPot chrome pendant light in a group.

&Tradition's collection also includes this pendant from Jørn Utzon (who designed the Sydney Opera House)...

&tradition Utzon pendant light

...and this reading light (there are wall and table versions too), Bellevue, from Arne Jacobsen:

&Tradition Arne Jacobsen AJ2 floor standing reading lightThe more you study Bellevue, the more realize that it is perfect (yes!): powerfully functional, elegant lines and nothing to be added and nothing to be taken away. To anybody designing a reading light subsequently, its very existence must be as demoralizing as the music of Monteverdi is to subsequent composers.

What are the other Scandinavian lighting companies doing?

Well, Carl Hansen is producing The Pendant by Hans Wegner (he of, inter alia, the Wishbone chair)

Hans Wegner The Pendant lightIt is adjustable up and down, using the good solid handle integrated into the design, that protrudes at the bottom.

Northern Lighting  Has brought back Sven Ivar Dysthe's Butterfly light of 1964:

Sven Ivar Dysthe Butterfly wall lightThere is also a copper version -- see our post about this light here.

Finally, Fritz Hansen have only one light in their collection -- but what a corker! It is Kaiser Idell Luxus by Christian Dell, the German silversmith who ran the metal workshop between 1922 and 1925, when the Bauhaus was in Weimar. Here it is:

Fritz Hansen Kaiser Idell Luxus table light redA post on 20th century classics is always going to have fantastic images of lights in it but, nevertheless, what a great note to end on. IMHO.

And there are other typologies! Here's group of them, chatting at a party:

Fritz Hansen Kaiser Idell Luxus lighting collection

lightjunction 18 22 September 2013


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Verner Panton revisited

Moon by Verner PantonOur remit is not only to introduce new lights, but also to remind us all of the great designs that have been around for a while -- such as Verner Panton's Moon, above, from Verpan. We think we know all about them, but there can be changes -- new specs, new materials, new colours, new sizes -- that can have passed us by. A case in point is shown below -- at first glance, a Panto from 1977, but in fact the version of VP-Globe introduced in 2009 that (except for the outer sphere) is all in frosted glass, giving a very different effect.

VP Globe glass by Verner Panton

Verner Panton capiz shells In Europe, Fun Mother of Pearl (11DM) has the cool 1960s feel that is associated with Verner Panton, but in America, capiz shells are still used in contemporary lighting, and with good reason. This pendant is a good shape, an effective fitting (preventing glare whilst letting the light from the lamp through in all directions), and looks at home in many different locations, for example:

Verner Panton Fun Mother of Pearl DM11 set Now we can look at Onion in a contemporary light too...

Verner Panton Onion Set over table

Verner Panton Onion set...but maybe not Spiral Gold SP1! Let's enjoy this for its gold bling, undercut by its being made of material so light that it is moved by the gentlest zephyr!

Verner Panton Spiral Gold set

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Verpan (Verner Panton) newsletter #22

The theme of the latest edition of the Verpan newsletter (which you can read here) is How to use your Panton furniture and lamps. Included are images of the Café Stiften in Aarhus:

Verner Panton in the Café Stiften, AarhusThe two designs featured are a large Fun Mother of Pearl (centre, in the image below) and VP-Globe (either side of the Fun Mother of Pearl):

Verner Panton Fun Mother of Pearl and VP-Globe

The newsletter also features a Panton exhibition held by Uniquement Votre in Lausanne. The event showed old collectibles and unica designs designed by Verner Panton, together with items that are still in production.

Verner Panton's UFO at Uniquement Votre, Lausanne

You can read the full newsletter here.

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