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Categories: Lighting

Alex MacMaster’s Intriguing Iris

Alex MacMaster’s Iris floor and pendant lamp would seem to join a growing cadre of lamps cut from an intriguing new cloth. This particular trend began back in June with designer Kwon Jae Min’s Crack Bowl Pendant, continued through late summer with Arturo Álvarez’ Shio, and has just made headway into early Autumn with MacMaster’s compelling new piece. The trio of lamps made of wood uses the unorthodox material to excellent effect. Each of these artful lights evinces a craftsman’s flair and a technician’s eye—the first in regard to the timeless tactility and warmth of wood, and the second in reference to a deft manipulation of light. In the case of Iris, MacMaster carves thin laminates from solid timber and assembles them into a free-flowing form that recalls this most iconoclastic of flowers.

Iris. Designed by Alex MacMaster.

The designer mentions that the lamp is modeled not after the elusive flower per se, but the elegant leaves of same. Even so, attempting to decipher the intent of MacMaster’s chosen name for the piece is a bit of a thorny endeavor. Just like the flower, the light comes in multiple shades and manifold forms. Known iris cultivars include purple, blue, yellow, and white, with respective meanings of eloquence/wisdom, faith/hope, passion, and purity. All of which begs the question, what inscrutable significance does MacMaster’s lipstick red version possess? Your guess is as good as mine (and ditto for incarnations in walnut, ash, and cherry).

I would conjecture, however, that the inscrutability is precisely the point. Very like the flesh and blood (or pistil and stamen) version—which flourishes among varied habitats and impressively diverse climes—MacMaster’s Iris has a character all its own. “Due to the nature of solid timber and its movement,” the designer says, “no lamps will be identical as they form to their own individual shape.”

Iris is organically minded in more ways than one: each light comes standard with a low-energy bulb. The piece is made to order from a wide selection of timbers with finish options in multiple lacquers.

Via Contemporist.

Posted October 4th, 2010 by Joseph Starr

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