Industrial Influence

Jonathan Browning Studio Lighting

Jonathan Browning Studios  “Ventoux” double armed sconce

Jonathan Browning is the designer and master craftsman of the eponymous Jonathan Browning Studios in San Francisco.  His work is intellectually backed with extensive knowedge about the history of design, and he shares that knowledge through visual references in each of his pieces.  As a metal worker, he’s been on a decades long journey honing his technical skills.  Every piece in his collection of light fixtures is sublime in the understated way only a real master of his craft can achieve. Continue reading

Finishing Touch

New York City Lampshades 101

It’s hard to imagine a successful interior that doesn’t include a great table lamp, but then again who could have foreseen the end of the incandescent light bulb?  But as the winds of change blow through lighting design, one thing remains constant… if you want to get the right lampshade you need to take the base to your shade vendor.  I’ve tried many times to “eye-ball” my way though it, with consistently poor results. Continue reading

Southern Gentleman

John Lyle Design's "Marc" Console



Back in the spring of 1979 as a freshman in Art School in rural Pennsylvania, I took a course in 3D design with a woman named Rosemarie Sloat.  She was a painter at heart, but had a deep and disciplined understanding of form.  Ms. Sloat taught me that all 3 dimensional objects were made of 5 basic shapes – sphere, cone, pyramid, cube and cylinder – either alone or as the intersecting elements of a larger mass.  Successful 3D design she further professed concerned itself with the mastery of balance, proportion and rhythm between these forms.  It was an amazing class.  I learned the underpinning of my design philosophy.    As an art student today, one would hope to have someone who could teach the same ideas, from a place of equal understanding, someone like John Lyle. Continue reading

Eastern Interpretation

Maruni Collection's "Hiroshima" Chair

Japan is a nation that has for many centuries cultivated traditions based on wood that occupy an important position in daily life.  I have long been fascinated with the Japanese interpretation of western furniture.  While walking in Soho recently, I came across CITE, an assemblage of modern design furnishings that includes pieces from Maruni Wood Industries.  Originally established by Takeo Yamanaka in 1928, Maruni has morphed over the decades to include the work of celebrated architects and designers; Jasper Morrison, Michele De Lucchi and Naoto Fukasawa among others.    CITE has an edited version of Maruni’s pieces for sale, but with some careful research I was able to find most of their collection through other showrooms. Continue reading