three pendent lights against a black backdrop
Courtesy Rhett Butler

Six Lighting Fixtures Illuminate a New Application for Craft

With a dedication to the handmade, these contemporary lighting designs uphold tradition while flirting with the future.

Meerschaum and marine algae. Brass, glass, stone, and linen. The breadth and depth of materials showing up in lighting fixtures is limited by nothing short of designers’ imaginations. The wave of novel mediums is helping keep handcrafts alive, while also taking advantage of the latest lighting technology. The resulting product designs are an alchemy of otherworldly palettes and illumination, which inject new life into archetypal components. The following roundup of such creations by selected artisans—shepherds of their crafts—offers a glimpse at these new-era artifacts.

detail shot of a lighting fixture made of marine algae
Courtesy NEA Studio

Sunset Drive Collection by FEYZ STUDIO

detail shot of a lighting fixture made of Meerschaum
Courtesy Galina Kurlat

This collection of sculptural pendants, available in lengths upwards of 25’, is made of mirrored glass globes, cylindrical arms, and Meerschaum, a solid clay mineral found in Eskisehir, Turkey. The eclectic style of the Sunset Drive Collection is the visual narrative of designer Feyza Kemahlioglu. The medley of shapes and textures and hand-carved perforations invite the viewer into the warmth of intricate graphic patterns from a variety of angles.

Desert Series by JES PAONE

image of a table lamp made out of porcelain
Courtesy Rhett Butler

The distinguishing quality of architect Jes Paone’s Desert Series is its overtly handcrafted appearance, including imperfections. While aspects of the finishing process are simple, each porcelain globe is hand-thrown on a wheel using a fabrication technique developed by the designer’s paternal aunt and ceramicist, Anne Paone. Evidence of the process enriches the final product as deep striations, polished and celebrated as a pattern. Light seems to emanate from within the porcelain itself at night, while it appears opaque during the day.

Simple Shade Collection by NAOMI PAUL

image of a pendant light made out of crochet
Courtesy Naomi Paul

Subtle yet sculptural. Artistic and functional. Each pendant in the Simple Shade collection is created using either Egyptian cotton or bamboo paper that is crocheted by hand using a birch ply hook, before a brass-plated ring frame is inserted and suspended within the stitch work. The line expands on Naomi Paul’s exploration of duality in the Solitaire series.


image of four multi-colored glass pendant lights hanging above a table
Courtesy Reflections Copenhagan

Out of the synergy between Reflections Copenhagen and Design By Us comes the whimsical, supersaturated Carnival Series. Exponents of decadence, their shared design DNA takes shape in a variety of hand cut crystal pendants and table lamps with festive colors, bold geometric patterns, and sleek construction. Facets made from distinctive cuts meet at precise joints to perform in a theater of colored illumination. Pendants can be mixed and matched to the user’s delight.

Monea Collection Camino Table Lights by ROBERT MCKINLEY

image of two table lamps sitting on top of a table in front of figural wallpaper
Courtesy Robert McKinley

Camino lamps are a pair of artisanal fixtures in the broader MONEA furniture collection by Robert McKinley. Inspired by Venetian rooftop chimneys, these table lamps are made from a distinctive combination of Italian linen, reclaimed wood from Venetian boat docks, and cast bronze finials sculpted by the designer himself. In the spirit of tradition and Italian craftsmanship these pieces are meant to be touched, loved, and lived with for generations.

Chlorophyta Chandelier by NEA STUDIO

image of a dining room with a lighting fixture hanging above a table
Courtesy NEA Studio

Eco-responsibility yields organic elegance in a series of sconces, lamps, and chandeliers by NEA Studio. Marked by bronze-colored translucent shades made of locally sourced chlorophyta, or marine algae, the Chlorophyta Chandelier can also be customized to hold up to 100 LEDs. Each shade’s rich hue and organic texture diffuses light to deliver a unique, soft glow. And users find deep connection with the pieces knowing it is composed of biomaterial.

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