Mary Wallis Plays with Marble for Dramatic Lighting from the Adelman Studio

Clear and faceted, white and translucent, or dark and jagged – lighting designs by Mary Wallis have an edge in more ways than one.The Lindsey Adelman Studio of New York debuted several of Wallis’ new designs at ICFF 2015. In 2014 the Mary Wallis for Lindsey Adelman collection was released under Adelman’s guiding eye. She is the first designer whose work the studio has produced.Walking ICFF, we were drawn to the Edelman exhibit by the Edie chandelier — an unusual and dramatic construction of not just glass, but also marble.

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The Edie chandelier is a deconstructed traditional lantern. Wallis looked to the sky for her inspiration for the piece. “By pushing the glass away from the frame it is possible to layer the panes of glass over each other. The effect is like scales or feathers. The two long shards of glass represent the tail feathers of a bird,” Wallis says.  The substantial design shown above is created with marble. “We chose marble because of its translucence and the beautiful texture inherent to the material. I also like the idea of matching the chandelier to the floor!” she adds.

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This version uses hand-cut and beveled glass, which is accented with brass hardware. The dramatic black colorway, both in marble and glass, has almost a gothic feel, conveying mystery…perhaps even a hint of danger.

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These angular pieces look nothing like Wallis’ best-known design, the Light Line table lamp. With this piece Wallis created her unique ode to traditional neon lighting, taking it into a three dimensional space.

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Neon is usually associated with outdoor signage in bold bright colors. I love experimenting with bringing neon into a residential setting with subtle colors of neon. I like to take a material 
or familiar object and coax it into a new context.

said Wallis, senior designer for Lindsey Adelman Studio. Originally from Australia, she has studied design at Central St. Martins College in London, and in New York at Parsons, the New School for Design, and Pratt Institute.

Adelman Studio Pieces

Adelman, an English-major turned industrial designer, has come to treat the possibilities of lighting more as art. After working for Resolute Lighting in Seattle, she moved to New York in 2000 and founded Butter, a lighting company, with David Weeks. Adelman founded her own studio in 2006. Since then,  it has grown into a team of 20 who work collaboratively on each aspect of the business.

Now, let’s look at some of the Edelman Studio’s most creative designs.

Branching Bubble

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The very first product the studio released has become its signature item: The Branching Bubble chandelier. This fixture, reminiscent of a woodland branch, simply but effectively highlights the organic nature of the blown glass bubbles. The structured base — or branch — is made from gleaming machined segments that come together in a dramatic fixture that is the focal point of any interior.

Agnes

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Adelman’s Agnes collection is her studio’s take on the popular stick light concept. It was inspired by a fictional heroine of the same name, who was a worker in the world’s oldest profession during the 1849 California Gold Rush.  Originally conceived as a candelabra, this chandelier version — Astral Agnes — glass tubes stand in for the candles. Articulated joints allow the glass to be arranged in a multitude of ways to suit your taste or design needs. We cn see this taking center stage over a dining table or as a modern accent in a rustic entryway.

Cherry Bomb

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We love the Cherry Bomb collection, which is a new lighting system Adelman created for for Nilufar to launch during Salone de Mobile April 2014. Brass tubing creeps across the walls, branching in any direction and for any length, thanks to modular fittings that give you unlimited design options. The tubes are dotted with glowing, almost molten looking hand-blown mini-globes. The stunning opaque blue globes in this photo have been rolled in 24k gold foil, which is a design option for the glass.

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The pieces can by installed on the wall or ceiling, or combined to create a room-altering installation. The studio says that Cherry Bomb is reminiscent of a cherry blossom branch and designed to illuminate often neglected surfaces and corners. No matter how which arrangement you choose, it is truly functional art — a minimalist but opulent statement.

Knotty Bubble

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Another iteration of bubbles is this line, which is inspired by Japanese packaging, buoys, and shibari. The  Knotty Bubbles collection is an artful design of knotted rope that captures a mass of hand-blown glass “bubbles” bound together with knotted rope. While these elements might typically bring to mind a home near the shore with more of a nautical theme, Adelman’s pieces naturally enhance a variety of styles, from a modern or minimalist interior, to a traditional home setting. Knotty Bubbles can be incorporated as a singular design for the wall as a sconce, or as \ a chandelier with any number of blown glass globes — each piece truly one of a kind.

Catch Chandelier

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In this novel design, glass globes seem to be caught by the metal fixture — as if the melting globe was slipping, melting or dripping. Aptly named “Catch,” the design was originally inspired by imagining the chandelier chain enlarging to become the chandelier. Design-forward yet fun, the collection juxtaposes the rigid metal of the fixture with the blob-like glass that looks like it only just stopped moving. The playful sconces, chandeliers and floor lamps can enliven any space, even a children’s room.

Marina Chandelier

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Dramatic, attention getting and striking — all adjectives to describe this piece that would make a definite statement in any space. The studio’s coral-like vintage brass Marina ceiling medallion is hung with bulbs and glass icicles, creating a fixture that alludes to nature’s darker side. The fusion of branching, dangling daggers and luminous bulbs makes it hard to look away.

Adelman says lighting design is at the core of what the studio does, but that it’s designers also work with an expanded palette of materials to develop products ranging from concrete tiles to wallpaper. Here are two of our favorites:

Curiosity Vessel

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The minute we saw these, we were definitely curious.  What unusual stoppers! The ethereal hand-blown clear glass bottles have solid brass stoppers cast representing “nature gone wrong.” The vessels highlight items fund in nature, such as hybrid acorns, coral, porcupine quills, and human vertebrae that become curiosities displayed outside of the vessel rather than inside of it. The brass wisp extending into the interior of the bottle elicits as much curiosity for us as does the top of the stopper.

Gold Mussel Ashtray

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Tiny but eye-catching. Gilded yet natural.  These gold-elecroplated mussel shells were gathered in Maine and fashioned in Brooklyn. We can imagine them scattered on a table among your other favorite objects or at home on your dresser, the perfect little vessels for delicate rings or earrings.