lighting roundup :: wood, bronze & knotty bubbles

I was pleasantly surprised with my most recent copy of the Fall 2014 Rejuvenation Catalog, which highlighted collaborations with Portland designers creating limited edition fixtures. I love these beautiful brass pendants and table lamps, there's something very mid-century about the distinct seam between the solid and the shade, like the perfect cocktail shaker! This line was created by Cedar & Moss, the more sculptural ceramic and wood table lamps were done in collaboration with Caravan Pacific. This melding of mineral (brass/bronze) and glass or wood and ceramic is a trend that has been steadily growing stronger these last several years, prompted by the intrinsic tactile qualities of each of the elements and their purity of form.   

Schoolhouse Electric is another local Portland go-to source for beautiful and creative lighting fixtures. I just realized now that I unintentionally chose 3 light fixtures with very similar bowl shaped shades, hmm, I guess I'm really digging on that shape. I certainly appreciate all the pops of color and texture these fixtures provide, especially when grouped as a chandelier, like this persimmon number. This multifaceted pendant, which comes with either a clear shade or white, is stunning in it's uniqueness - no two would be alike. I could see a few of these scattered over a huge wood butcher block kitchen island, again that dialogue between the natural elements of wood, bronze, glass and rock crystals (implied crystals, but you get the idea….) 

Last, but certainly not least, I wanted to highlight these fixtures created by Brooklyn lighting designer Lindsey Adelman. When I first happened on this line of fixtures at Roll and Hill, I had to look at them 3 or 4 times to get an idea of what I was even looking at, to be honest I don't think they photograph very well on a white background, kind of a hot mess. But when I started looking at installation photos of these things, they were stunning!

In much the same way you want to feel your way around the bronze globes and smooth ceramics of the light fixtures above, these pieces are over the top tactile with hefty knots, glass bubbles, and (what they call) ceramic barnacles. These light fixtures are appropriately named Knotty Bubbles, the largest coming at you with 5 large bubbles, 3 small bubbles and 5 barnacles all mashed (entwined?) in natural or khaki rope. I love how these look grouped under the skylight, I can imagine the shadows they would create in the spaces below as the sun moves above. They have that washed-up-on-the-beach quality which instantly imparts it with a rich curious history, perhaps full of knotty tales (sorry, I couldn't help myself)!

Ipcock Residence - el dorado incThis segment is more a firm spotlight than one unique home or space. El dorado is a firm out of Kansas City that manages to blend architecture, fabrication, sculpture and design build projects all under one roof. I initially heard about them in 2004 when their Ipcock Residence received a lot of praise in the press. This residence, as well as many of their others, drew me in because of its elegant material palette and the way that the panes of glass were detailed to create the illusion of a floating ceiling plane.

Westside Residence - el dorado incThe precise way each of the varying interior and exterior finishes was articulated belied the firm's background in fabrication and I envied their knowledge of connections. Designer's are nothing if not for their detailing, how you take something simple and plain and make it inspiring and beautiful - I definitely aspire to this ideal and I think el dorado has moments of this in every project they undertake.

1737 Main - el dorado inc

Pizzabella South - el dorado inc

Through the years they've grown and their work has spread into all aspects of commercial and civic, but they bring that precision and tight material palette to those spaces as well. Creative firms housed in many of the Kansas City downtown buildings call on el dorado to update their space but trust that they will maintain the historic character and charm. Some examples show the firm successfully doing this by employing colorful wall planes, custom fabricating lighting fixtures and entry canopies and integrating branding and shade structures to add layers to the building.

Woodruff Sweitzer Office - el dorado inc

I know there are many more great spaces to show you from this firm, plus there's a whole story on regional design that I'm sure I haven't touched on but definitely adds to their appeal and unique approach. Long story short I like this firm and look forward to their stuff because their story resonates with me, their materials and details have evolved not changed and their initial work is still glimpsed in their current projects over 15 years later. What firms inspire you and make you seek out their latest projects for your own inspiration?

Work by SWATT MIERS out of California. Beautiful examples of a wood, glass, stone pallette that melds into the site and topography of the project. The use of old school models is very inspiring and would be wonderful for a client to understand the concept and progress.