Our Midcentury Modern Artichoke

Our Midcentury Modern Artichoke

31st Aug 2020

Focus on Custom Work

Artichoke Pendant in Shop

We based this fixture, affectionately named ‘The Artichoke”, on a midcentury modern piece that had come our way many years back. The original was of French provenance and functioned as a pendant lamp. 

After we created a close copy, our client asked if we could turn it upside down (with the wider, open end on top) and we think that turned out to be an inspired choice.

We then suspended the inverted fixture from 3 curved stems, creating a vase-like appearance which also serves to conceal the light source.

At the client’s request, we designed a matching sconce, reproducing the graceful curves and proportions of the ceiling light in a wall-mounted version.

Each individual leaf is hand cut and hammered, using either a sand filled bag or wooden mold (a technique known as repoussé, meaning to raise or push up) into subtle curves that follow the fixture's rounded profile.

The center vein on every leaf is created using a vintage 19th century manually-operated beading machine. The resulting textured surfaces are overlapped, creating an elegant webbing with multiple streams of light radiating from the center of the fixture.

Both the pendant and sconce models can come in a variety of finishes, including gold leaf, pewter, darkened terne, and lightly-aged copper. 

They are here shown with overtones of our verdigris patina applied to a coated copper material which is impervious to deterioration. All models of the Artichoke are UL listed for damp locations.

We feel our reimagined Artichoke retains that playful, almost irreverent style of midcentury design in a way that's very French.

As such, it will compliment many eclectic and elegant decors, from midcentury modern to the more classical style seen in the photos of the installed fixtures (below) as generously provided by our client.