Kevin Reilly: recent introductions

kevin reilly pendant light lantern seva

I’ve just checked back and found that Cameron |Peters Fine Lighting has been responsible for supplying Kevin Reilly lighting to UK specifiers since 2006, so we’ve kind of got the hang of them by now!

This post brings you up-to-date with recent introductions.

The glorious Seva (above) is an innovative pendant light. They say, “This year, the Kevin Reilly Collection gives new momentum to its line of lighting fixtures by offering different models centered around their metal work. While it has always been a common thread within the collection, we are now seeing a dramatic new interpretation on the way in which light can be revealed.

"Architectural and sculptural, the Seva pendant is unique in that it is capable of holding light as well as sharing it as a focal point within a space. There is an emphasis on the dialogue between material and light, and the play between sculpture and function.”

We say, this is a strong, sculptural object that will cast light up and down, with no glare. Yes, the “shade” is not translucent, but for many applications this will not be a problem, any more than a non-translucent lamp shade on a table light is necessarily a problem.

There are two sizes:  W46cm and W147cm. Both are H71cm and D28cm. Here is a picture of the long one:

Kevin Reilly Long Seva pendant light

The exterior is in the usual range of Kevin Reilly finishes, and the inside options include a dark read powder coat – such drama!

Bamba is also a pendant:

Kevin Reilly BAMBA pendant light

This time the shade is semi-translucent. It is a simple, elegant shape in Kevin Reilly’s materials and finishes (that are rightly so popular at the moment). It comes in three sizes, though I know it does not look it from the picture below! What is happening is that there are three diameters (the largest being 91cm). You can choose one or two small or large shades, to create any of these four poses:

Kevin Reilly BAMBA pendant light

Make sure that you are aware of their size:

Kevin Reilly BAMBA pendant lights set

The delicate Pattern comes as a floor light, a table light and a desk light:

Kevin Reilly PATTERN desk, table and floor lights

Then, this is the Kolom wall light, that comes as standard in two sizes, and as a fixed or a swing arm. Custom options are also available:

Kevin Reilly Kolom wall lights

The standard shade material for Bamba, Pattern and Kolom is the wonderful watercolour paper than Kevin spent so long finding.

As it is for Kanaal, (the most recent introduction) but you can also use customer's own. It comes as standard H13cm W26cm and in four lengths (147cm, 183cm,213cm and 244cm) though, as usual, custom sizes are also possible.

Kanaal pendant light from Kevin Reilly

As always, if you are in the UK, contact us for tear sheets, finish options (it is easy to misunderstand these), prices and general advice (though, as I write, detailed Pattern info is not yet available).

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Understanding Kevin Reilly finishes

Kevin Reilly Lucerne pendant light

Several of the designs from our wonderful Kevin Reilly collections are available in both indoor and outdoor versions – for example, the elegant Lucerne above.

Initially you may wonder why we always check with you about which finish you want when you contact us about them.

We do it partly because the lights shown in photos tend to be in the “steel dark patina” finish, whereas everybody (in Europe, at least) assumes that it is a bronze. But Kevin Reilly give the name “steel bronze patina” to a different finish.

Photographs, print-outs and screen images of colours and finishes are notoriously unreliable, depending as they do on many factors. For example, how the colour has been set up on your screen is affecting how you see this post. But here are images of the indoor finishes anyway:

Kevin Reilly lighting interior finishes

The liveliness of the interior surfaces is achieved by hand-painting the finish onto steel.

Though some of the outdoor finishes may look similar, they are in fact powder-coated stainless steel, so that they can withstand the harsher conditions:

Kevin Reilly lighting exterior finishes

Now you can see why we check, and why we have samples of the finishes that we can send out to you.

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Art et Floritude: the best new lights at Decorex

Art et Floritude Obsidienne wall light

I hope that I saw all of Decorex. For us, its new location is more convenient, and Kensington Gardens was lovely in yesterday's sun. But the main space, Perks Field -- the biggest and the first that one comes to -- was noticeably busier than the Orangery. Based on the quality of the stands, there was no reason for this. So I do encourage you to to make it through as far as the Orangery.

And here is a very good reason -- to see our Best New Light at Decorex (and the runner-up!).

The wall panel above is the Applique Obsidienne by Christine Goumot (formerly directrice artistique at Saint Laurent) for Art et Floritude. It is W143cm H55cm. The finish of metal parts is a carefully judged combination of bronze and 24 ct gold. The design -- the different sizes of perfect and imperfect circles, and the relationship between them -- is beautifully judged.

Art et Floritude Applique Obsidienne detail

But what elevates it to a higher plane are the dark parts. These are chunks of obsidian (a naturally-occurring glass produced during volcanic eruptions) that is closer to amber than anything else. Like amber, each piece will be different depending upon the quantities and shapes of the different colours in it. This means that every Applique Obsidienne will be different. There are LED lights behind each chunk. All are fascinating: the ones that initially look black do have variations within them, the more translucent ones share more colours and variety of shapes of darkness.

Art et Floritude Applique Obsidienne detail

The result is the quality that defines great design: it gets better, more interesting, the more you look at it. You can lose yourself in the worlds you discover in any one of the chunks of obsidian (which are large!).

But it was touch and go whether the Applique Obsidienne above, or the Boule de Fleurs (below) would get top honours.

When we started working with Art et Floritude (a charming family company based in the Loire Valley), they were primarily continuing the fine French craft tradition of painted metal chandeliers on themes drawn from nature, often with porcelain flowers attached. Like this:

Art et Floritude chandelier metal and porcelain flowers

If the Applique Obsidienne exploits their metalworking capabilities, the Boules de Fleurs demonstrate what they can do with their porcelain flowers.

Art et Floritude Boule de Fleurs

The original was created with Hubert de Malherbe for Parfums Christian Dior. The catalogue version is a simple ball shape made up of unglazed porcelain flowers on a (concealed) white painted metal frame, lit from within by LEDs. There are three sizes: Ø24cm, Ø28cm and Ø40cm.

On the outside of the Art et Floritude stand, you see an applique of leaves in their new finish, satin nickel. The colour of the wall it is on demonstrates how well it suits the long-dominant passion for mud-like hues.

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Bronze lights: what you need to know

Altar by Kevin ReillyIn the January 2012 edition of the Financial Times' How To Spend It magazine, there is an article called The New Bronze Age -- bronze "...adds richness without overpowering, and sits equally well with antique and contemporary pieces...bronze is the metal of the moment". And, from a lighting perspective, we would endorse this. So that's the first thing you need to know! The second is that, as far as lighting is concerned, "bronze" tends to describe a finish: the article itself may be made of brass or steel. But, to complicate things, there is little agreement about what a "bronze" finish actually looks like -- what colour it is. So, if you are specifying something in bronze be afraid -- be very afraid! Make sure that you have seen a sample.

This is particularly a problem if you are American and the light is European, or vice versa. The image at the top of this post is of a wonderful Altar from Alabama-based Kevin Reilly. It is illustrated in the finish in which most of his pieces are shown:

Kevin Reilly Math Ring detail

Europeans automatically assume that this is bronze. But here are tiles in four of his finishes:

Kevin Reilly metal finishesThe finish most often used is actually "Dark" (steel dark patina") whereas "Bronze" (steel bronze patina) is paler, yellower.

The fine lighting company most committed to bronze is Objet Insolite. Their showrooms are in Paris, but the work is done in their workshops in Normandy. This is their standard finish:

Objet Insolite Grande Clara

Objet Insolite Grande Clara

They really are working in bronze. After the item has been cast:

Objet Insolite bronze castingit is finished. Here, the standard finish is being created, using heat and oxidization:

Objet Insolite bronze finishingBut they can also apply electrolytically a nickel or gold finish (and, formerly, a wonderful verdigris).

So, having learnt that bronze lights are not often bronze -- they are brass or steel with a bronze finish -- the next thing you need to know is that not all bronze lights look bronze! They could have a nickel or gold finish. For example:

Objet Insolite Luxor wall light in silver

Objet Insolite Luxor


Objet Insolite Mostra

The effect of having cast bronze as the base is to make the gold and silver much gentler, much softer, removing any possible bling effect. This is one consequence of the method of finishing: the surface is not smooth, the edges are not machined, and the shape can have a hand-made feel, which is, again, much softer than gold or chrome/nickel on a crisp brass or steel base. It is like a pencil sketch compared to a CAD drawing. I hope that you can see this in the big picture of Clara above.

Bronze is often spoken of in the same breath as weathered brass, and so adopts a seaside/lantern/outdoor feel (even if they are for indoor use only).

Here is a bronze ceiling light from Nautic:

Nautic Village ceiling light 8042

Nautic Village ceiling light

But here are weathered brass lights from the same source. The very elegant restrained Ilford small wall lantern:

Nautic Ilford Wall light 01HGv4

Blakes, a battery/LED cordless outdoor table light:

Nautic outdoor Blakes Table Light 8460_1

Or Portreath, an indoor rectangular pendant.

Nautic Portreath rectangular pendant 3981

So brass with a weathered finish is in many ways able to be treated like bronze, making available a far wider choice of designs, and lower price points.

One of the oldest and finest French metal-working companies is Pouenat Ferronnier. They use bronze finishes on brass, a dark antique bronze as in the hammered structure of L180 from the collection designed for them by Michel Jouannet:

L180 floor light by Michel Jouannet for Pouenat Ferronnierand a light antique bronze. But they are also working in other metals -- steel and wrought iron. The latter can give the same handmade, rounded feel as bronze, while still conveying the brute strength of iron, as can be seen in A1-1 from the same collection...

A1-1 wall light by Michel Jouannet for Pouenat Ferronnier ...a gorgeous, massive handmade nail against a back plate of alabaster. During Maison & Objet, they introduced a new collection designed for them by Jean-Louis Deniot, whose bronze fireplace was featured in the How To Spend It article. No pictures are available yet.

Finally, lest you think bronze is all about the bucolic, the rustic, Jean-Luc Le Deun, who has been working with LEDs since 1997 (so longer than just about anybody else in decorative lighting) and is using them in the most minimal, elegant, geometric pieces like this chandelier:

Le deun super8 chandelierannounced at Maison & Objet last month that he is introducing a bronze finish! The first design to which it is applied is the Micro Prestige table light:

Le deun micro prestige table light

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