Lamp Dance: Hector Serrano’s Ballet Pendant Lamps for Arturo Alvarez
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Aside from their ethereal beauty, Spanish lighting designs by Arturo Alvarez have one thing in common: SIMETECH®, the proprietary patented material composed of stainless steel mesh and silicone, on display in the majority of the brand’s modern lighting designs. A highly malleable and moldable material, SIMETECH® is a key component to the sculptural, asymmetric forms that define Arturo Alvarez lighting designs—and never more so than in the brand’s recent collaboration with Valencia-based designer Hector Serrano, whose Ballet series elevates SIMETECH® to its most graceful heights yet.
The designer explains, “At the beginning, I didn’t know how to contribute with something new and I felt a mix of sensations: on one hand, insecure about my ability to accomplish the assignment, on the other hand, respect for the work done by Arturo. I decided to keep going, but taking it from the beginning as an experiment. I would try and make something attractive, but if I wasn’t able, I would simply quit.”
While Serrano’s misgivings about working with the material ultimately proved unfounded, working with SIMETECH® had its challenges—namely, its idiosyncratic tendency to do what it pleased. “…we made several prototypes, and it was a disaster: we were forcing the material to behave in an unnatural way. So I realized I had chosen a wrong way to face the project and I should start all over again.”
Back tot he drawing board—literally—meant delving into the materials’ specific properties and allowing it to dictate the resulting shapes, rather than the other way around. “I needed to give it freedom to seek its own way. I realized the less manipulation, the better the results.” Hours of cutting and folding later, and with a slew of prototypes to show for it, Serrano arrived at the suite of 3 deceptively delicate, elegantly organic volumes that make up the Ballet series. The collection’s name, Ballet, was “a wink to the beauty of its forms and the constant dance of lights and shadows.”
Via Arturo Alvarez