.Bracelet Table Lamp in Gilded Iron with Linen Shade
This week all design eyes turn toward North Carolina and the annual High Point Market. In advance of his leaving for the event, I caught up with Barry Goralnick for coffee in the Flatiron district in in New York, to learn about his latest collection for Circa Lighting.
While all of his designs are beautiful, there are 6 that I think are real standouts, including the Bracelet Table Lamp shown above…..
We’ve all heard the axiom ‘there’s nothing new in design, it’s all just elements arranged and viewed differently.’ I would say I’m inclined to agree 98% of the time.
But every now and then you come across an alchemist who squarely fits into the 2% category of designers who truly create something utterly and completely new.
When I met Steven Wine, the creative genius behind ABYU Lighting, 20 odd years ago while he was working at the Heller Gallery I knew he would become one of those characters – his completely irreverent and quintessentially zany world perspective positioned him for uniqueness. From his first recycled detergent bottle lamps to his latest plumed light fixtures his witty personality is omnipresently evident.
I visited his atelier last week with our design editor Carl Lana, and had a first hand look at 3 of his latest creations.
When Dominic Lepere opened his namesake Lepere 6 years ago, he was a pioneer in the Flatiron neighborhood with a modern furniture showroom. Now it’s hard to imagine another part of New York City that’s more visited by the well-heeled in design and architecture.
A few years back I was involved in a loft installation, for which I’d designed and manufactured the curtains. As the day progressed, and elevator after elevator of furnishings arrived, things began to take shape nicely. I’m going to leave out all the names, but suffice it to say this was a well-known designer at a swanky Soho address. In the end, just about everything looked great, except for the plastic wire coming from 2 tripod floor lamps (incidentally from an equally swanky, equally well-known Italian fashion designers collection of home furnishings). I may be knit-picking here, but as they say, the devil is in the details.
Bruce Tilley, owner and curator of Decor NYC, has a storied history when it comes to furniture. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, he began collecting art deco pieces in high school. His early love of home furnishings ultimately lead him to a position as President of Licensing for the home division at Alexander Julian, a job he held for 2 decades. Fast forward to last December when he fulfilled a life-long dream by opening a consignment shop which focuses its attention on high-end “gently used” furniture, lighting, accessories and art. It’s been a wildly successful half-year. I’d like to share why.
The Brimfield Antique show and Flea Market is open for its mid-summer sale this week, which made me think of Thomas O’Brien – master of the flea market find. Coincidentally O’Brien’s Aero Studio is having its 20th anniversary this year, so I decided to head to Soho to see what the store is offering 2 decades after he opened it.
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
Chandeliers can be traced backed to medieval times (1066-1485) where they would be found in churches, monasteries, and other gathering halls. These earliest chandeliers simply consisted of 2 hand carved wooden beams connected in the shape of a cross, perhaps in deference to Christianity. The beams would have a spike on each end upon which candles would be secured. Once lit, the whole assembly was hoisted from it’s center lashing to the desired height by a rope suspended from a hook in the ceiling. This “fixture” provided greater light than the usual candle-lit wall scones which illuminated just a small, specific area of a room. The internet abounds with examples through a long history of geographically specific chandeliers; iron armed milk painted Gustavian chandeliers from Sweden, elaborate multifaceted crystal chandeliers from France or Russia, or hand forged and polished brass chandeliers with flint glass shades from American just to name a few. Candles were the source of illumination until approximately 1840, when many chandeliers were converted to gas and the hybrid “gasolier” was born. In 1890 Nikola Tesla invented the AC generator, and modern electricity was born, paving the way for the chandeliers current incarnation around 1910.
Having dispensed with a little history, lets talk about one of my favorite chandeliers on the market today. While Holly Hunt represents several lighting designers, I vote for the “Paris Round” chandelier from the eponymous Holly Hunt Studio collection. Eight squarely extruded arms radiate from a simple central sphere and are capped by small urn shaped candelabra bulb holders set within an uber-clean wagon wheel. Quite simply, it’s a study of circles and squares in juxtaposition, and it’s masterfully done. The entire hardware armature (visible only from below) is surrounded by a rice paper shade with evenly spaced exposed metal struts for stability. Typically, I dislike an exposed bulb, so I opt out of the chandelier category; but here it’s the best of both worlds. Ambient, soft overhead lighting that highlights beautiful metal work, and bulbs hidden by a diffusing shade… perfect. It’s available in polished nickel or antique bronze, with a variety of drop lengths. Holly Hunt is a “to the trade” only resource, but the sales staff at any given showroom can connect you to a designer/architect familiar with HH’s signature style. In New York, the Design and Decoration building at 58th street and 3rd avenue has it’s own designer referral service which is also very helpful.
Holly Hunt 979 3rd Avenue New York 10021