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Originally Posted On: Custom Spotlight: Contemporary Designs — HAMMERTON BLOG
Levi Wilson, our founder and VP Design, likes to say that as a custom lighting manufacturer Hammerton is fundamentally in the business of solving client problems. To accomplish that over our 25-year history, the company has marched in lockstep with evolving design trends.
As a young regional start-up in the 1990’s Hammerton met the mountain west’s insatiable demand for nature-inspired lighting, with bold custom executions in hand-forged steel and exquisitely crafted organic motifs. However in 2020 we are a vastly different company addressing a very different set of client problems. Today, most of our custom design work embraces the clean lines and straightforward geometries of contemporary style, and our material palette now includes artisan blown and cast glass, woods, LED technology and more.
Take a look below at Hammerton’s custom solutions to some recent client challenges.
Wood Wonder: Inspired by a small pendant turned out of single piece of wood, this sleek 18”D drum applies a clean wood veneer to a steel body with a contrasting interior finish. A unique two-tone/two materials approach adds contemporary warmth and visual interest to an otherwise very simple contemporary design.
Crossing The Line: A dramatically different execution in wood and steel, this 42”W linear suspension feels reminiscent of midcentury style. While the slim profile and curving lines would be difficult to accomplish entirely in wood, this clever LED design elevates the steel structure to a decorative element.
High Beam: We’re often asked to source unusual objects to incorporate in specialty lighting designs. For a car-themed restaurant, we sourced a vintage headlight cowling to create the cost-effective sconce design shown above, replacing the 12v automotive bulb with a dimmable LED to create a vintage automobile headlight sconce.
Talking Point: Designed to hang above a very large conference table, this 96”W fixture represents a popular Hammerton design at 2X scale. A fine mesh diffuser softens the visual weight of the fixture and complements the urban industrial vibe of the space.
Magical Mesh: Woven steel mesh is one of our favorite materials at Hammerton because it simultaneously pairs strength with softness, volume with airiness, and simplicity with sophistication — all in a manner that transcends its utilitarian nature. In addition to softening the visual weight of a light, mesh can also effectively hide the fixture’s inner workings while adding textural interest. These three large-scale custom designs feature various types of mesh as the signature material.
Geometry Glass: Six of these geometric 35”D pendants were grouped in an asymmetrical configuration to create the central focal point in a New York restaurant. The metal framework is deliberately minimal, with clear seeded glass revealing a simple Edison bulb.
Glass Act: Both of the designs shown above are custom modifications of a popular Hammerton Signature pendant fixture. The sophisticated design at left uses textured kiln-fired glass panels to accentuate its geometric shape. Integrated LED illuminates thick cast glass pendants as the light source, replacing what would typically be a functional incandescent bulb. The fixture at right adapts the same design for an outdoor residential application, incorporating clear seeded glass panels to accommodate a UL wet rating for exterior use.
Silver Chalice: A balanced mobile design provided the inspiration for this distinctive custom blown glass chandelier created for a residential installation. Silver leafing at the bottom of each blown glass shade provides unusual color and light diffusion.
Table Talk: A custom adaptation of a popular Hammerton Signature fixture, this sleek linear suspension pairs steel and artisan glass in a subtly whimsical reference to the dinner table ritual. Plenty of ambient and downward directed light makes it ideal for dining applications.
Crystal Gist: Organically textured kiln-fired glass creates a unique design that gives a modern twist to the classic crystal chandelier. Metalwork is minimized to keep the artisan glass at the center of the design.
Stick Fixtures: The versatile ‘pick-up stick’ light lends itself to a wide range of materials and aesthetics. Shown here are three recent custom executions pairing LED light diffusers in acrylic, artisan cast glass, and organic blown glass with precision-cut metal tubing in various styles and configurations.
Ironclad: Clever illumination gives a sense of weightlessness to this all-steel 48”D chandelier. Small shuttered windows on the exterior allow beams of light to wrap the blackened steel in a warm glow, while a two-tone finish draws the eye to the interior.
Life of the Party: This 74”D residential custom fixture uses a creative multi-arm chandelier design with minimal use of steel, allowing dozens of blown glass shades to create an impressive focal point.
Small Stunner: While most of our custom work involves large scale fixtures, this design is practically pocket-sized. Only 8” wide, 9” deep and 6” tall, this sophisticated midcentury style sconce has all of the beauty and detail typically associated with a much larger sconce.
The Eyes Have It: These custom designs showcase Hammerton’s breadth of materials and fabrication capability. Hand-stitched leather, polished brass, blown glass, metal spinning, acrylic forming, and metal fabrication elevate these simple modern forms to works of contemporary art.
Sculptural Sizzle: This stunning dining light design is hand sculpted from laser-cut rectangles of steel. Despite the precision-crafted nature of the design, no two will ever look exactly the same.