(Read the interview after the break)
Who are you and where are you?
Eric Liftin, an architect. My firm is MESH Architectures, located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, NYC.
Why do you hand make your products?
I have been making pipe lights for 20 years. Mostly we have been doing it for clients over the years, but more recently we opened our Etsy store to reach more people.
The appeal of the pipe lights is that they are made with mass-produced, common elements, yet they are all different. The models shown on Etsy are just instances of objects with infinite permutations. Whoever makes the lights spontaneously chooses the twists and turns of the fixture. So they really have to be made by hand.
How long did it take to make?
Each one takes 20 min to an hour for the basic models and more time for the more elaborate, custom pieces.
What dreams do you have for your products? Where would you like to see them?
The lights cast a warm, intimate light. There is something discreet and self-effacing about them, though—they are made of plumbing pipe, blue collar, part of the infrastructure (the opposite of say a crystal chandelier). I like the way they say we are part of the utilities, but we are warm, and sexy. So I would love to see them in a dark restaurant, a hotel corridor, a brothel.
We use touch dimmers to switch them, and I like that touching the lights is part of the experience. I would love to see an installation in a commercial/public space where people could touch the lights and modify the brightness of the space spontaneously.
Thank you Eric!
Gwyn & Tamra