Friday, 15 October 2010

Maker of the Week - Luna Lighting

Luna Lighting are makers of hand crafted ceramic lights which have evolved out of a personal search to fuse the cool clean lines of modern design with a need for warmth and sparkle. Luna Lighting will be exhibitng their work at MADE10 in November.

One favourite living craft maker.
It's actually a couple in Burgundy - Sylvie & Francois Fresnais - who run an idyllic and romantic pottery at an old mill house in Sampigny Les Maranges. It's all shutters and old stone walls covered in plates and they have turned an old pigeonier into a showroom. Francois throws in earthenware and Sylvie decorates with coloured slips and together they not only make beautiful things but have created a charming and inspiring place to live and work and sell their wares. Going there for the first time in my thirties made me want to be a potter. I have been back practically every year since and I have a house full of their jugs and bowls.

What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased or what one product/item do you really covet?
Does buying a wonderful Alexander McQueen jacket from a sale rail in my studio corridor yesterday count? Otherwise I swapped a set of Sue Binns lovely blue striped mugs for some tealights recently and they give me daily pleasure. I would love more of her divine tableware.

At age 18 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way?
Both my parents were very creative. My father took me sketching every saturday at the V&A while my brother had his weekly judo lessen, and he was tirelessly inventive, forever painting or sculpting, making picture frames, lampshades, restoring furniture etc. My mother, who will deny being at all creative, was constantly sewing, knitting, upholstering, making the house beautiful and cooking delicious meals. So making things has always been an essential part of my life.

What’s currently on your i-pod, cd player, tape recorder?
King Creosote

Where and what is your studio?
I share a big, light filled room at Cockpit Arts in Bloomsbury. It is a great buzzy place filled with makers of all disciplines and while for most of the year we all beaver away behind closed doors, twice a year - in June and the last weekend of November - we have Open Studios where the public can come and see what more than 90 of us do. There are hat makers, textile designers , glass works, fashion designers, lots of ceramics and jewellers so it's a really fun shopping event.

What is your favourite (art) website?
I don't spend much time on the internet - far too busy in the studio - but was just looking at photographer Sussie Ahlburg's site as she has just taken some brilliant new photos for me.

Surprising activity/hobby?
Not exactly surprising but I have an allotment and try to go every Sunday. There's never enough time and it is looking a bit overgrown and weedy at the moment and despite having made buckets of jam and having a freezer full, I still suffer from fallen plum guilt!

Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
It was sometimes hard at the beginning when I first set up the business, when the children were small and it was a struggle to make enough money, but now my son is at University and he helps out during the holidays. My daughter sits her A levels next June so she too is on her way. My husband may well complain if I start to spend long evenings at the studio once Poppy has flown the coop but I do love it there and often find it hard to stop.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?

What do think are crimes against good taste & decency in art/craft/design?
I was particularly annoyed recently by the new cups and saucers at my favourite coffee bar in the south of france. The saucers are too steep so the spoon falls into the middle every time you lift the cup. Grrrr!!

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