After having completed over twenty pieces in the BIEDERMEIER REDUX series and the Takayasu rehab project, I decided to move onto new challenges. I decided to revisit my interest in lighting at the beginning of 2015. Lighting has interested me as a designer for as long as I can remember and in the late 80’s and early 90’s I produced a body of lighting work that was exhibited in Chicago and at University Galleries of Illinois State University. It was titled ILLUMINANTS. Many of these pieces explored the use of low voltage current
( 12V ) and my designs made use of suspended cable that illuminated hanging discs-much in the same way that a model electric train gets its current from the tracks.
Today with the meteoritic rise of cool running LED’s and especially the use of LED ribbons ( SMD’s or Surface mounted Diodes ) it gives the designer many advantages that weren’t available even five years ago. My new “Illuminants” investigate the use of materials, form and function. They are all beautifully crafted which is very important to me. The marriage of design and engineering should be seamless and I would hope that these pieces stand strong as sculptural forms, even when they are not illuminated. Once illuminated they take on their second life as lighting.
These are one of a kind pieces and quite labor intensive, from the initial design stage to prototyping mockups to making sure the lighting concept is going to work, to figuring out the engineering and then constructing the piece and fitting the electronics. All but the first two in the series are controlled wirelessly and can also be dimmed from the same controller.
In a way, I suppose I approach these pieces as an industrial designer might do in prototyping a possible production piece. Mine differ in the fact that they are not commercially produced but made by hand as one of a kind sculptural lighting.