Asked to custom-design a light for Clemence Harvey’s PR office, Gregory Bonasera named that light after the woman herself. indesignlive.com spoke to the Melbourne designer about the personalised product.
April 9th, 2008
What was your inspiration for the ’Clemence’ light design?
This particular design grew from a body of work I created for my solo exhibition at Craft Victoria in July 2007. ‘My Garden’ was the title of the show and it was a metaphor for fertile creative ground in my design practice. For the My Garden works I collected objects from nature such as animal bones, sticks and emu, ostrich & chicken eggs. All of these objects are closely related to the aesthetic of my production work and to a degree inform it. I made moulds from these found objects and reproduced them in fine translucent porcelain then assembled them into either functional or sculptural works for the exhibition. The lights for Harvey were a natural progression from this body of work.
Tell us about the materials and how the light is made.
The lights are very much like large pieces of jewelry. The fine porcelain twigs were all hand cast from moulds taken from actual twigs. The porcelain reproductions were then made into beads and hung in drops randomly punctuated by clear glass beads from a glowing white halo around the light source.
The lights were designed specifically for this project? What was the brief?
Yes the lights were designed specifically for Harvey Publicity’s South Melbourne office. Ryan Russell described the space and the furniture that had been selected or designed for the office and we discussed ways of using the lights to connect the Board Room space to the Studio down stairs via the open atrium between the two working spaces. The lights also needed to take a more organic form and to be quite feminine to suit Clemence Harvey’s style.
Tell me how this light fits in with the rest of your practice?
The core discipline in my practice is the specialist design & production of fine porcelain as objects or componentry. Many people would be aware of my production range sold throughout Australia but may not be aware that my production porcelain range of functional ware is only a fraction of what I do. I also have a strong foundation in designing metalwork and have produced several commercial lighting projects both here in Melbourne and also in London.
What sort of designer/artist are you?
I’m probably difficult to categorize. In my Melbourne-based practice I work like an industrial designer, a traditional craftsman, and an artist to create a range of innovative and conceptual products. My porcelain objects are created using traditional slipcast techniques. Sometimes these porcelain works are limited edition pieces, whilst others are part of a production range. I also design and produce feature objects such as porcelain chandeliers and luminaries that combine metal and porcelain components. I also work as a consultant for other designers and design-based companies to produce porcelain products. Among my recent clients are Helen Kontouris, Schiavello, Nick Rennie, and Cindy Lee Davies’ Lightly.
More, bigger, better!!!
Several new porcelain products are currently being developed and will be available in the first half of this year including the production version of my Fruit Tree. I’m also currently designing street furniture for an inner Melbourne city council (no it won’t be porcelain furniture) and working on more porcelain lighting for commercial interiors and collaborations with local designers.
NOTE: The ’Clemence’ lights are available to order through Gregory.
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