Skli Max Pendant Light by Finne Architects

There’s something extraordinarily familiar about the Skli Max Pendant Light by Seattle-based Finne Architects. Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of the Moones Grass Lamp, or because it stirs my innate appreciation for forms preserved in glass (as a child, I was endlessly transfixed by insects preserved in amber), or even just owing to the way it distinguishes between light source and “bulb” or “shade,” which strikes me as one of those head-slapping, “we should have been doing this all along” kinds of features, and thus seems as if it always was.

Skli Max Pendant. Designed by Finne Architects.

Skli’s Endless Expanse of Exquisite Glass

In fact, it has not always been, and the way in which architect Nils Finne has managed to both separate and integrate source and sculpture is well-nigh breathtaking. When I say “sculpture,” I refer to the centerpiece of Skli’s serpentine plane of fused glass. The fixture measures approximately eight feet wide by two feet long, and it is composed of two distinct layers of formed glass. Says Finne, “the texture of the glass is achieved by placing hundreds of 1/16” glass rods on top of a clear glass base sheet, and then fusing the glass in a high-temperature kiln.”

The technique gives Skli its distinctive aesthetic—reminding me, curiously, not of embedded glass but rather captured tubes of straw. But glass it is, sure enough, as proven by the way Skli manipulates light. And on that topic, Skli’s lightsource—perhaps less awe-inspiring than the glass canopy but every bit as functional—is created from reclaimed martini shakers, no less. This trio of stainless steel receptacles for Skli’s LEDs are quite efficient, each with an energy price tag of a mere six watts. But the kicker is the way they both transmit light downward through the glass and reflect it upward to play upon the ceiling: “there is a magic that transpires when glass is struck by light; it is almost as if the glass surface becomes light itself.”

Skli Max Pendant designed by Finne Architects

Skli Max Pendant designed by Finne Architects

About the Manufacturer: Seattle-based Finne Architects boasts an impressive array of architectural achievement throughout the Northwest with stunning and sustainably-built residences on the coast, in the mountains, and deep within the woods. Yet they’ve also employed their habitual construction materials palette for their line of equally sublime lighting and furniture. These inspired creations lean heavily toward glass, wood, and steel, as seen, for instance, in their magnificent Skli Max Pendant Light, whose skillful reflections and refractions would certainly complement the heavy influx of natural light in any one of their well-windowed homes.

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