Crystal Galaxy from Quasar now available in copper!

Quasar Crystal Galaxy chandelier in nickel Crystal Galaxy, another great design from Jan Pauwels, is produced by Quasar in nickel -- see above -- and very lovely it is too.

But we are nevertheless thrilled that they have now introduced a copper version:

Quasar Crystal Galaxy chandelier 40 in copper

Copper is such a wonderful, warm finish, yet light makers stubbornly refuse to make copper lights -- in spite of all the hints we drop. Imagine!

Quasar are doing brass Crystal Galaxies too:

Quasar Crystal Galaxy 40 in brass

This is a wonderful design, with all the beauty of a chandelier but any potential for pomposity is undercut by its informality. Here's a detail:

Quasar Crystal Galaxy chandelier detail

You can see the optional spotlight which provides additional downlighting.

The versions of Crystal Galaxy that are available in these new finishes are Ø40cm, Ø60cm, Ø80cm and Ø100cm, with either the cute 2W krypton lamps or 0.3W LEDs There is an upcharge of 25%.

Don't want a Crystal Galaxy? That's OK! There are versions of Universe that are also available in the new finishes, with the same upcharge:

Quasar Universe chandelier




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Highly customizable Universe Square from Quasar

Quasar Universe Square chandelier with glass bars First there was Universe Square, designed for Quasar by Jan Pauwels:

Quasar Universe Square Triple chandelier

Are these the lightest, most delicate chandeliers ever? The finish of the metal wire can be either brass or nickel, and the tiny lamps are either incandescent or LEDs. There are more random versions of Universe, but this one is endearingly restrained in its strict rectangular form:

Quasar Universe Square chandelier

It is modular. The one above is seven modules long, by three modules wide, by three modules deep. That works out at L875mm H375mm W405mm.

But, because they are modular, and because they make everything in-house (there are great pictures of the production area on designer Jan Pauwel's web site), they can fully customize it for you!

This means that you can specify a large (even very large) piece which is in effect a chandelier (because it has multiple light sources) but which is light and airy, not blocking from view what behind it -- the view out of a window, for example.

Don't believe me? Check out the set shots on Jan Pauwel's web site.

The development of this design is to add glass rods:

Quasar Universe Square chandelier with glass rods detail

Unfortunately for blog post writers, the remarkable effect that results is not obvious in pictures, even in the very clear image at the head of this post. All the little points of  lights reflect off the glass rods. The result is mesmerizing -- like stars coming to earth -- and the eye is confused into believing that there are many more "stars" than there actually are. In fact, the centre of this Universe Square is hollow (the modules do not have to fill up the central space) but the eye does not detect this. Very clever, and very beautiful.


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Il Pezzo Mancante 3 LED chandelier

Il Pezzo Mancante 3 long chandelier We are delighted to see Il Pezzo Mancante's advertisement in the December 2011's idfx. This exciting young company, based in Florence, has begun with a collection of six products. Five of them are furniture  -- tables, cupboards, low padded seats, shelves. They share a focus on solid wood, carefully chosen, that is oiled (not varnished or painted) in order to bring out the texture and grain. This is married to other fine materials -- marble, leather, brass in various finishes. Every design is distinctive (look at the feet/legs in the image above, for example)  and can be customized, in form and in choice of wood.

But Fine Lighting News is more interested in Il Pezzo Mancante 3, a thrilling family of lights, a long pendant version of which is also shown above.

Besides this long one (the design is modular, so it can be very long -- the current record is 2m),

Il Pezzo Mancante 3 2m chandelier

there is a more conventional chandelier-shaped pendant (here shown in black nickel):

Il pezzo mancante 3 chandelier in black nickel

a wall light, here shown in their brass finish:

Il pezzo mancante 3 wall light in brass

and a floor light, here shown in nickel:

il pezzo mancante 3 floor lamp in nickelWe see a lot of lights. But every now and then a new design really stands out, and this is certainly one of them!

The gentle swelling of the glass "candle" follows through into the "lamp holder" that it sits in. The light source is a LED let into the candle holder, that shines up through the candle: there is no glare because the LED can't be seen.

However, until we visited the showrooms last month, we had only seen CGIs. In reality, the design turns out to be even better (I'm relieved to say!).  A brilliant touch is the way that the glass candle is partly hollow. As a result,  the light is reflected back more strongly at the top, more closely emulating the flame on a candle. The hollow, but not the flame effect, can be seen more clearly in this CGI image:

Il Pezzo Mancante 3 wall light

Though this is, to date, one of the best uses of LEDs in a decorative light fitting, we are looking forward to a halogen version, which will give it a proper incandescent light source....

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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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