The winner of HOME’s Design Awards 2015 – proudly supported by our sponsor, Fisher & Paykel – is the ‘Torchon’ pendant light by Cheshire Architects. It is made in a fiery, innovative rush by glass artist Luke Jacomb in an unassuming little shed in west Auckland. You can see this amazing process in our short web film above.
This is the second year running that Cheshire Architects have won our awards – last year, their ‘Parison’ pendant took top honours.
Lest you think we have some sort of irresistible attraction to glass pendant lights by Cheshire Architects, we would like to remind you that the awards this year were judged by a true design professional: Fisher & Paykel’s design director Mark Elmore. He describes the ‘Torchon’ pendant as “an amazing fusion of design, technology and craft. I think the way they’ve taken a very simple pure spherical shape in glass and inserted that very organic craft-based natural form inside that…is an amazing piece of design.”
The pendant was designed by Nat Cheshire and Emily Priest of of Cheshire Architects, who collaborated with glass artist Jacomb in its creation. “The soft, spherical glass is carefully mouth-formed and, as this bubble cools, a ball of molten glass is placed into its open aperture,” Cheshire says. “Immediately, a digitally formed tool is plunged into its malleable core, forming a perfect quartz-like crystal.”
That step demands equal measures of force and delicacy, as the tool’s blades extrude and stretch the glass into the crystalline form at the pendant’s heart. It’s a move that is executed in the precious seconds that precede the cooling and solidification of the toffee-like glass. The core is then filled briefly with an etching liquid that roughens its surface and diffuses the LED’s output. Two fine wires suspend the pendant.
Our congratulations to Nat and Emily, to our award sponsors Fisher & Paykel, and to all the finalists, whose beautiful work is shown here and in our new issue: