It's quite brilliant (in more ways than one) to use an everyday object as part of lighting design-especially when that object lends itself well to playing with light. Lightexture, a lighting design firm based in Arlington, MA, has created an entire collection of lamps that incorporate stainless steel steamers. The SteamLight Lamps series uses those familiar kitchen steamers "as a device to direct and reflect light." From wall sconces to table lamps and pendant lights to clamp lamps, the SteamLight Series reinterprets the Dadaist notion of the found object.
SteamLight Quartet. Manufactured by Lightexture.
Ready-Made Lamps Incorporate Kitchen Gadgets
Of course, once you remove its primary function, a stainless steel steamer looks both odd and interesting, archaic and futuristic. Like a helmet from The City of Lost Children or a pod from 2001: A Space Odyssey, this quotidian kitchen gadget, upon closer inspection, reveals itself to be strange and lovely. With a central eye, the steamer creates a lamp head that "operates as an iris, that allows for enlarging or reducing of the central light beam." Its surrounding, collapsible leaves, which are "reflective and perforated," filter light and create patterns.
Two additional details make the quality of light of the SteamLight Series lamps different: an off-center position and a low-voltage xenon bulb. By locating the bulb outside the pupil of the lamp head, the light provides "unique aiming options." And the energy-efficient xenon bulb gives SteamLight a very long life span. The collection includes a four-headed ceiling fixture that looks like medusa jellyfish suspended in ocean water, and a simple sconce that resembles a metallic lollipop.
About the Manufacturer: Lightexture is a lighting design studio founded by Yael Erel and Avner Ben Natan, an architect and lighting designer. The duo also collaborates with ceramic artist Sharan Elran, who helped design and develop the ceramic Claylightâ„¢ and Earthlightâ„¢ series. Lightexture incorporates ready-made objects into their designer lamps, which are made by hand in the studio. Located in Arlington, MA, the company creates energy efficient fixtures "while maintaining our focus on their atmospheric and spatial performance."