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Why Use Translucent Porcelain?

Why Use Translucent Porcelain? - The Bright Angle

What would the foundation of our lighting collection be?

We would need a system of creating shades that would allow customization for collaboration. We would need a setting and ethos to encourage this. We would need a system that allowed for a good experience in collaborative design. We would need a system for shades with a foundation where the collaborators would be able to take ownership of their designs. It would have to be flexible, easy to use and customizable.

We can make forms that aren’t easily achievable in glass (a common material used for shades and lighting) because we use porcelain. Unless molds are used, most hot glass must stay round. Circles are a man made thing. They are a comfortable and predictable shape in human made objects…although they do not exist in nature. 

I am sick of circles. Nature does it the best - so why try to replicate it? Why not use geometry that is inherently human? Let nature handle the curves and asymmetry. Humans are able to handle angles, lines, edges that I’m sure nature would find quite refreshing - as long as the proportions were rooted in the golden ratio. It is the only objectively beautiful ratio that is the foundations for forms, lines, and patterns in nature.

Let's move beyond circles. Because the greatest moments in design are the edges where two things meet.

What materials could we use?

Our aesthetic is sophisticated, elegant, refined, clean, and modern. Asheville, being a craft epicenter, has a community that is bursting at the seams with master craftspeople who understand their medium and the tools they need to use to achieve a desired result. They understand the strengths and limitations of their materials.

Metal (steel, aluminum and brass) has a high tensile strength. It is rigid. It can be plasma cut, forged, welded, bent, tapped for fasteners. It is an amazing structural frame that can be finished with a wide range of paints, enamels, and more. The blacksmiths in the mountains of Western North Carolina have the experience and knowledge of how to take advantage of what metal can do.

Glass is fragile, but it can be completely transparent. It can cover, contain, and be shaped hot with tools or blown into molds to assume a precise form. Glass can be infused with color, decoration, and pattern. It is also associated with elegance, skill in technique, and awe at the making process.

Wood can be cut, sanded, drilled, and stacked. It can add strength and bring a quality of nature, life, history, and terroir relating to a specific place or time. The ways a woodworker can bring out its natural beauty are vast. Wood workers are familiar with what types of wood can be utilized in each application and the best processes to make that type of wood shine and reach its full potential. They are also aware of the way wood reacts to heat, sun, moisture and humidity and make the material choices within a medium that many group together as wood without considering the different hardnesses of that particular woods ability to stay flat.

Leather and textiles can act as embellishments, straps, a way to dress up or hang other materials. Textile is a great way to incorporate pigment and texture into design.

Porcelain Pendant Lighting

Why is our light unique?

Our lights are unique because we are embracing the characteristics that porcelain has in both its liquid slip state before it is formed by plaster and also in its rigid glassy state of white translucent ceramic (did you know we can also add pigment to the porcelain?)

With other materials can you use jigs and templates, but porcelain has the unique ability to take shapes from plaster molds (even beyond the capabilities of glass). Sure, your grandmother's China is transparent, but these days people don't find it valuable because it's been made into tableware. There is no shortage of plates, bowls, and mugs in this world.

We are truly embracing translucent porcelain material as a vessel to contain light. The value is in the glow. Our forms are unique because we're able to use plaster molds that shape the porcelain in ways other materials can't.

We are the American Translucent Porcelain Design Company.