Browse Category: Lighting

Tastemakers: Talents Shine in New Lighting Designs

What happens when a few — whose combined talents consist of graphic design, photography, advertising, hospitality, large ideas, revenue, woodworking and engineering — get together? If they’re Adam Policky and Dawn Hagin, of Portland, Maine, they wind up heritage a studio which makes unique and beautiful lighting.

The couple met in 1994 when operating to get the exact same graphic design business in San Francisco. They proceeded to begin Rare Brick, a firm that specializes in photographing, branding and advertising boutique hotels. While they excelled at this work, “I needed to work with my palms and I had had enough of sitting in front of my computer for eight hours,” Policky says. The hospitality sector inspired the new enterprise, as a few of their initial commissions were to design site-specific lighting fixtures for their boutique-hotel clients. Thus, Inspired Wire Studios was born.

The few today layouts fittings for many different clients, from their original hospitality clients to private owners and retail and gallery spaces. Combining Hagin’s tendency to say, “Would not it be cool if…” with Policky’s photographer’s knowledge of mild — and the capability to make just about any idea come to life — has resulted in a group of special and truly inspired bits.

Browse light ideas

Launched Wire Studio

Launched Wire Studio

This playful fixture, also known as the B├╝bingarang, was made for Policky and Hagin’s dining area. The boomerang shape pays homage to mid-century contemporary design, and it is crafted from a beautiful African rosewood known as bubinga (thus the name of the fixture). The piece shows us a lot about the manner Policky and Hagin collaborate. They brainstorm together, come up with a sketch, and Policky builds the fixture while Hagin scouts fabrics and makes the lampshades.

A conversation I had with Policky and Hagin showed me much about the way that they design.

Policky: One of the fantastic things about this piece is the equilibrium. When designing the pole, I needed to balance the burden in order not to put pressure on the junction box…
Hagin: He studied physics.
Me: I wasjust thinking he must have a degree in engineering.
Hagin: He has that rare right brain/left brain equilibrium.
Me: I had been thinking that when he said “junction box.”

The point is, there’s a great deal more to every piece than one notices at first. The B├╝bingarang ($920) is a bit that Inspired Wire offers as part of their current product lineup, they want to develop along with the custom bits they craft.

Launched Wire Studio

Launched Wire Studio

This next bit, the Zero-C Floor Lamp, was designed for the owner of a eclectic studio. The area it was intended for functioned double-duty for a place to present to clients in addition to the proprietor’s own amusement area.

At 5′ 9″, the lamp includes a impressive presence. The lamp includes a distinct look when seen head-on; its curved shape is undetectable from this angle.

Launched Wire Studio

The Zero-C (beginning at $850) is a excellent example of one of Inspired Wire Studio’s signature moves, mixing metal and wood. In cases like this, it’s a mingling of oiled maple and stainless steel. Policky’s foray to metalcrafting is a recent development. “There’s something elemental about melting two pieces of metal together,” he says.

Though the Zero-C’s beginning was inspired by the site and the customer’s needs, it is now a regular yet customizable bit for them. If you purchase one, they’ll probably want to change something about the materials, lampshade or perhaps just the color of the cord for a nod into your space and style.

Launched Wire Studio

In terms of guidelines, the client had a cherry maple dining table and desired uniformity through the open space. “The client actually sent us a CAD file of the entire building, so I was able to put each light into a 3-D model to inspect the scale,” says Policky. Rectilinear shapes and warm forests carried through each of the light fixture layouts, providing continuity, in spite the fittings’ very different appearances.

Launched Wire Studio

This Washington D.C. condominium was a full job for the bunch. This client had admired their outsized drum pendants in a resort in the Poconos and hired them to design all of his light fixtures.

The JFG table lamp ($520), is a lesson in scale and site-specific design. In 39″, it’s taller than your normal table lamp, yet its own scale and proportions are fantastic for the space.

Launched Wire Studio

All these JFG Wall Sconces are just another wonderful blend of metal and steel and rectangles and curves. A metal frame surrounds a cherry wood plank using a delicate bird’s-eye maple inlay. Perforated steel cages curve round the bulbs. Policky and Hagin are enormous fans of Marconi lightbulbs, which exude a beautiful warm glow.

Launched Wire Studio

This two-drum JFG Chandellier ($1,260) over the dining table is a fantastic mixture of metal and wood. It also floats in an eye catching manner, reiterating Policky’s curiosity about the physics of suspension.

Launched Wire Studio

The significant fixture at the entryway was one of Hagin’s “Would not it be cool if…” ideas called The S-Curve. She initially sketched out the plan on a napkin. While her original layout had a metallic curve wrapped around two drum colors, an alteration was made to fit this site.

“Because it was to get a hallway which leads down to a common area, we needed it for a dramatic piece,” Hagin describes. Inside this entryway, the six pendants supply more play and lend a rhythm into a space meant to be moved through.

In 68″ long, the S-Curve ($3,480) is rather hefty, but Policky’s knack for physics lets it hang from the center of the piece without wobbling. Two additional hanging points eliminate spinning.

Launched Wire Studio

Here’s a closer look in the S-Curve. They chose acrylic to encircle the bulbs since it’s lighter than glass, and because of its very contemporary uniformity. “Glass has beautiful stripes, but they can be distracting,” clarifies Policky. Again, Marconi bulbs are utilized to provide off a calm light.

Launched Wire Studio

A finishing touch for the condo was the Monogram Shadowbox ($620). “The area away from the customer’s condo has two doors; one which extends into to the living space and another that leads into a utility area,” says Hagin. “He desired us to help direct people to the ideal door.” The pair looked for their expertise with hotels for the response, gleaning inspiration to the way hotel door numbers are marked.

“That is a highly customizable bit,” says Hagin. “The insert slides into grooves, so there can be multiple inserts created for every fixture.” It can exhibit initials, a house number or office name. The combination of the birch wood framework with rippled plexiglass and perforated steel provides visitors a hint at what awaits behind the front door.

Launched Wire Studio

Moving on to a different home, we spy the Bulbs at a Cage Drum ($640) from the entryway. It holds a half dozen Marconi lightbulbs at a perforated drum. They can transform the room based on the sum of other light and the good time of day. “The O-shapes from the steel produce short vertical lines all around the walls and the ceiling,” says Hagin.

“I added the timber veneers (in the top of the cylinder) since I needed to do something different than what was expected,” says Policky. This size functions as a dramatic lighting in an entryway. They’ve a smaller version in their own house.

Launched Wire Studio

These His & Hers Floor Lamps ($650) were inspired by “a chair the client had that has been Eames-ish,” clarifies Hagin. “It had a square seat and glancing at an angle.”

“We utilized the same-sized structural crossbar on the mild which the chair had,” says Policky. He crafted the initial lamp out of stainless steel (abandoned). “The client saw the lamp and loved it so much he wanted another lamp,” says Policky. “I made the exact same lamp but mimicked it in wood instead of steel.”

While these lamps have identical silhouettes, one is made of hard stainless steel, the other from delicate curly maple. The same structure was achieved using very different materials.

So, what will the future hold for Inspired Wire Studio? “Building our own studio has been a labor of love,” says Hagin. The company is growing and the few are looking to make this their fulltime gig.

Hagin and Policky appreciate the advantages of living in Portland, which, as well as its beauty, include a community of people and city support for small companies. They aspire to expand and use additional craftspeople to help them produce their work. I look forward to seeing what they do.

Sculptor Susan Wallace Turns Screen Doors Into Art
Design Tastemaker: Jared Rusten
Tastemaker: Asaf Weinbroom, Lighting Designer

See related