The German product designer Sebastian Scherer, founder of Neo/Craft, has created the perfect soap-bubble-like glass pendant light. It looks truly amazing — check it out!
We casually say that Murano glass chandeliers can come in a variety of sizes and shapes. But we don’t necessarily explain what that means – what is possible and what is not.
So this post illustrates what is possible.
My example is Coloniale from Seguso, partly because Seguso Vetri d’Arte is one of the most illustrious of all Murano brands, and partly because it is a design that particularly suits our market. (In other words, I think that you will like it!)
Here is a round six light chandelier version of Coloniale:
A twelve light:
An eighteen light: (See that as the number of lights increases, they start being arranged in tiers.)
And a twenty-four light:
The key point is that they are modular – a kit of standard parts that, like Lego, can be made up into different designs. In this case, there are three lengths of arm, and three units making up the stem. One of these is long and used on its own in the six light chandelier, the next is ball-shaped and added to make a longer stem in the twelve light. The third is concave. It is added above the bowl of the twelve light, partly to add length and partly to finesse the transition between the ball-shaped unit and the bowl. This shape also goes between the additional bowls in the eighteen and twenty four light.
In other words, the components are specific sizes, so you can’t have a chandelier that is the same shape but – say – 10% bigger. (In fact, you can – Murano chandeliers are made to order by the most highly skilled craftsmen, but non-standard components will cost a lot more.)
On the other hand, the modules can be made up into other things. There are always matching wall lights! This is a Coloniale two light applique:
And sometimes there is also a five light wall light (in two tiers – two above, three below).
Seguso also offer table lights in this family. Here is one…
…plus a floor light…
…and even an elegant side table!
You can see that the last three are constructed from the components that make up the stem of the chandelier.
Do get in touch with me if you’d like more info about Coloniale or Murano chandeliers in general.
If an architect/designer of the stature of Michele De Lucchi creates Produzione Privata – his “private production” – so that he can release collections that are independent of the requirements of professional clients, and not compromised by the restraints of fashion and markets, the results are going to be really special – the connoisseurs’ choice! They are also exclusive: not many people know about them.
The 2015 introductions are best understood from a charming two-minute animation here, set to a piano sonata by Mozart that you probably used to play – the name of the collection being Viva Mozart (because “everything he wrote was harmonious, innovative and happy”).
Here are some highlights. The Sedia 2015 Gala chair shown above has its back in the form of a horseshoe, plus the sturdiness and solid feet of a cob. It is made of beech and walnut.
There is also the San Vigilio table in oiled oak:
In fact, wood may be Michele’s favourite material. We are delighted that one of his new lights made of wood (solid walnut) is in the form of a circle (a shape that many want, and architects revere, but there are not many available). It is called Dodici (=twelve) because the LED lamps echo the twelve hour markings on a clock face.
Linear pendants are nowhere near as rare as circles! But, by coming at this typology from the point of view of someone who loves wood, and who is an architect (so he is constantly aware of dimensions), he has created something new: Metro – ten 10cm blocks of walnut glued together to make a ruler (with LED lamps in) that is exactly one metre long.
Even more obviously architectural is Brunellesca – five oak barrel vaults and a central cupula:
The collection is not all wood, though. Michele De Lucchi has the advantage of working with Alberto Nason, the son of the great Murano glass light designer, Carlo Nason. Here is a table version that they have added to the Perseo family. The elegant, dynamic glass diffuser is now stood on four rough iron supports. There is also a floor version.
And the latest versions of Glacier (here, the pendant Glacier 20 – there is also a table light, and vases) replicate the look of ice. No two are the same, because the cwms and crevasses are formed using a special type of mould that allows for some random movement during the blowing of the glass.
The Venetian glass company, Vistosi, is very important to you as specifiers, because theirs is the best, the most useful selection of contemporary glass lighting. What is more, many designs helpfully come in different sizes and typologies: Bot here as three sizes of pendant…
…and in wall and table versions:
Withwhite takes things further. The four shapes here…
…are not just pendants themselves, but they can also be ceiling roses (with lamps in so they light up as well). You can mix’n’match them as you like (or – see the second from the left below – use them as ceiling lights):
There are beautiful, simple elegant designs like Spirit
And larger pieces like Ecos:
Other designs specifically lend themsleves to larger installations – the classic (much faked) Giogali, for example…
…which can be almost any size or shape, depending upon the shape of the frame that the glass hooks are hung from :
The Damasco, designed by the great glass master, Crepax, uses a traditional Murano technique to great effect. Here is one of them…
...and here are lots of them:
And some Diamante:
Then there are lights that are best-in-class. Michele De Lucchi’s Vega task light, for example, that comes in table, wall and this floor version that has no counterweight protruding at the back:
All have the easily adjustable glass head, in white or gentle pastel shades.
And it is Vistosi’s catalogue that you’ll find Vico Magistretti’s Alega of 1970. All glass (including the shade); the simplest, most elegant reduction to the essence of the base’n’shade table light:
So Vistosi’s stand at Euroluce (hall 11, Stands D23/E20) is unmissable. Their teasers are suggesting some eexciting new additions to their collection!
Our fine lighting event, lightjunction, taking place as part of designjunction during the London Design Festival (17-21 September), has a very specific purpose. It is to increase specifiers’ awareness and understanding of high quality, relevant suppliers of decorative lighting. I'm highlighting some exhibitors in these posts, to give an idea of how the brands were chosen.STARS OF THE FUTURE?
Lightjunction exhibitors have been selected on two bases. The first was by invitation from me: I knew the kinds of supplier that I wanted you to get to know better. The second was by application. People who wanted to exhibit submitted information to our panel for approval. The result was intended to be – and, I think, is – a combination of established brands and very interesting newcomers.
Some of the newcomers we know. Others we don’t know, but they looked really promising to us; we wanted to know more! Here is a selection.
Foldability is Kyla McCallum. She creates products by folding and geometry. The Sonobe range, some of which are shown above, are made from up to 115 squares of special paper from Fedrigoni.
However, over the past month she has been busy developing a range of folded — pleated — textiles. By working with one of the last UK pleating companies, she plans to bring new life to a dying industry, and with the potential for some exciting results!
She is up for creating custom pieces and for working with manufacturers. The results can be quite big:
A highly-regarded studio, run by the architect Tom Housden, that collaborates with British craftspeople working in terracotta, wood, pewter, glass and cast aluminium (so far!)
Richard and Juliet Fishenden’s forge is in Willisham, a village near Ipswich. It is the real deal (which is why the name of their company is so appropriate):
They have added to their range pendants in the form of cages for lamps (see above). A current trend, of course, a style being mass-produced all over the place. But theirs have an individuality, a liveliness in the lines and the finishes, that could only come from genuine craftsmanship, rather than a machine:
They also make curtain poles and finials, pan racks, handles and towel rails (a detail of one of which is shown above). As they say, useful products that will last a lifetime.
Specials should be possible, too—let’s find out when we meet them! They could be a really useful source.
Neonwhite Design is the company of Munich-based designer, Denise Hachinger. Her lights and other products demonstrate a very good eye, with an interest in the relevant technology.
The wall light above is a modular system that creates smooth, calm indirect light, and beautiful decoration for a large wall. You can arrange them how you like.
Her LC 1.0 chandelier moves!
Each one is unique and so can be site-specific – the coating of the light surfaces, the colour of the frame and the LEDs can all be changed.
Her Skylight pendant is a modest hemisphere during the day. Turned on at night, however, it quietly astonishes — the dots on the shade become single points of light that seem to hover in space, like stars (the light being conveyed invisibly to them from LEDs in the central ring, through the acrylic).
These are very good examples of why we need the makers to bring their work to London so that you can see them for real! Pictures and descriptions cannot make clear what is so special about them, and how you can use them.
This is the studio of Pia Wüstenberg and her brother Moritz. Lighting is a smallish part of their production, which also includes stunning vessels made of glass combined with wood and metal.
They also have enchanting, delicate handmade paper lights…
…crafted by artisans in Ahmedabad, India.
A young studio creating decorative light fittings, even though it was founded by three lighting designers! The source of the light is as important to them as the light itself, and they pay great attention to all details, “weeding out the superfluous”. Their collection includes Tilt (above), the simplest and most versatile of the current crop of pendant shades that can be angled. This is how it works…
…and this is what you can do with it:
Fade, has a shade made of stainless steel metal sheet only 0.08mm thick that has microscopic perforations and appears to float around the lamp (which is only visible when it is on).
Another classic case of a luminaire that you need to see: words and pictures don’t do it justice, so you must come to lightjunction!
Velt are Polish glass specialists that are making lights that may follow the recent trend of being simple and coloured (above right), or they go their own way and elegantly decorate them with folk patterns (above left).
However, they are also making lights using glass not to act as a shade but to conduct the light from the lamp concealed behind it. The glass can unevenly shaped, showing streaks of colour, bubbles, or it can be plain and simple:
Here the technique is used in larger pendants that make up installations, their length making them particularly suited to stairwells:
Another really interesting, new product that needs to be seen to be understood, from a studio that needs to be met!
Though this was not my deliberate intention, I’m not surprised to see that this selection is made up of craftsmanship, and of real people (which is why I’ve included pictures of them where I can). This positions their lights a million miles away from mass-produced, anonymous blobs. And why does that matter? Because of the pleasure that their creations will continue to give, and the spirit that they will add to an interior — making a house a home. This also explains the rationale behind lightjunction. The lights need to be experienced, and their makers need to be met, if what makes them special is to be understood. This will be exciting — surely why we all got into this business in the first place!