Colorcore fish lamp by Frank Gehry
Take a bite out of this fish. No one before or since Frank Gehry has tried this one, as far as I know. As we all know, Frank Gehry likes fish. In 1986 he made a glass fish for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden; and between 1989 and 1992 he produced stainless steel fish for Barcelona’s waterfront to celebrate the city’s hosting of the Olympics. Then there are his buildings themselves that so often resemble the scales and fins of marine life.
The show has passed, but it should come as no surprise that The Gagosian galleries in Beverly Hills (January 11 – February 14, 2013) and Paris (January 24 – March 9, 2013) showed a collection of his fish lamps. Gehry first produced these back in 1984, when he accidentally smashed a piece of the then pioneering new Formica material Colorcore. The plastic shards reminded the architect of fish scales, and so he set about creating a series of lights from the mess.
Detail from one of Gehry’s new fish lamps
So, why the new show? Well, as a statement issued by the gallery explains, “In 2012 Gehry decided to revisit his earlier ideas, and began working on an entirely new group of Fish Lamps. The resulting works, which will be divided between Gagosians Los Angeles and Paris, range in scale from lifesize to outsize, and the use of ColorCore is bolder, incorporating larger and more jagged elements.”
While this new school of Gehry fish may differ a little from its predecessors, they are still built around a metal core and set on a wooden frame, and still look as naturalistic, considered and charming as any of his buildings.
You can see other work of Gehry on my blog last week. It included Gehry’s cardboard collection like Easy Edges (1969 – 73) and Experimental Edges (1979 – 82) of chairs and tables carved from blocks of industrial corrugated cardboard.
Every year in July, Romance Writer’s of America call author’s of romance to attend their conference. Workshops all day, wine and dine all night, ice cream socials… and lots and lots and lots of old and new fabulous friends. This is where you’ll find me for the week, so be patient for answers to your questions and queries. Come back next week for Frank’s think-out-of-the-box buildings.
For interiors, all lighting fits into one of three main categories: ambient, task and accent. Most rooms use a mixture of lighting types and mix the three to create visual interest and meet the functional needs of the space.
Ambient lighting: flat all-over illumination bright enough to allow people to move about safely and perform simple tasks. It can be achieved by lighting the lower part of the room (direct lighting), or by reflecting light off the ceiling and upper half of the room (indirect lighting), or with recessed ceiling lights.
Task lighting: Lamps light the lower part of the room that makes it possible to read your mail, your book, your Kindle, you or the kids can do homework. There should be some ambient lighting so the room does not have dark holes, and the kids don’t fall face down on their homework. Yawn . . .
Accent lighting: For enhancing artwork, an architectural feature, a sculpture, but If the space is lit only by accent lighting, there will be hot spots and glare. Proper ambient (general) light will soften the lighting so your eyes do not tire.
Uplights – there are wide choices
In addition, reflecting light upward off the ceiling and upper walls tends to give a room a spacious feeling and soften shadows on objects and faces. It can be attained with hanging pendants that direct light upward, wall sconces, or freestanding torchiere-style floor lamps.
Dimmers give you a way to control how much light is dispersed. Just remember the basics, the three ways to light a space. Depending on the mood you want to create, you can vary how you disperse the light. To avoid glare on a shiny surface, such as a glossy magazine, light coming from one or both sides or slightly behind of the work reduces glare. Light will reflect back at you if the light is directly in front of you on the book, etc.
Kitchen ambient lighting
The kitchen is a perfect place to demonstrate the three basics of lighting. The way we live today, most kitchens see us cook, entertain, watch TV, do schoolwork, teach, do your bills, and . . . have a glass of wine. So, you need good flat general overhead illumination, under cabinet lighting for specific tasks, like dicing vegetables or reading a recipe or doing bills. If you were to have art on the walls in the kitchen, as some collectors do, recessed accent lights would enhance the art and add reflected light to the space.
Kitchen task lighting
Candles as accent lights
Candles add mood to any space, and even the battery operated candles work, they are fun and safe. Now there are remotes for them. Check out Pier One. Remember . . . for all spaces, a combination of strategies works best.
If you have a room that needs light, use the basics to light it up.
What is your favorite type of lighting? What kind of space do you have that would take any of this lighting?
This article includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.