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Inspiration comes from: Olivier Abry

December 15, 2010

Today I present to you someone who is inspiring me left and right! Ever since I received an email from Olivier Abry I’ve fallen for his work and his incredibly insightful blog. He is, in his own words “a light “creator-assembler”. He is someone who knows the power and importance of good lighting. He creates something new from recycled or pre-loved materials, something that is essential to a room, a home. His work (I feel that “lamps” are not the right word) establish a mood and I love it.

I hope that you enjoy learning about this artist.

All photographs are by Olivier Abry.

Q: Olivier tell us, when you set out to become a “creator-assembler of light” what did you most want to give to anyone viewing and/or purchasing your work?

A:  I want to offer quality, a handmade and unique product, while using vintage material (recycled, bought or rescued). I’m proposing a product for today world, inspired by old, latest & traditional products. Something like “older new”.

Q: On your website I understand that you were a director of a interior design boutique for twenty five years. Where did your interest in interior design begin?

A: I was the manager, in an ethnic object & furniture shop. Everything in the shop was from everywhere in the world. I’ve been naturally interested in handmade products. Everything but the design… The guy who taught me about design was an architect, he taught me about 80s design : Le Corbusier, Philippe Starck (he was a novice at this time), italian clean lines, Tizio lamp, … My design tastes have changed, of course, but it’s always been about tradition & modernity

Q: How and why did you transition from being responsible for a boutique to now a designer of vintage lamps?

A: A desire to be independent and I had this need to create : imagine, draw, build … The feeling to have to choose : work 15 more years, doing what I’ve always did… OR do something a little crazier, create my own lamp business.

Q: I love the way that your lamps are photographed. Do you photograph them? Are you also a photographer? Some of your photographs make me want to purchase the photo as well as your lamps.

A: Thank you for the compliment. I photograph all the lamps myself and that’s true, the presentation and the light are very important to me. A nice  object has to be enhanced and well photographed.

Q: What inspires you in terms of design and photography?

A: I do look at a lot of pictures on the internet, or in magazines and books that I read, and I think it might be how I “learned” how to photograph an object.

Q: What inspires you in terms of design and photography?

A: I’m inspired by very different thing, almost opposite…Speaking of light, I like Ingo Maurer but also Castiglioni, Gras’s light and Serge Mouille, Joe Colombo and Tom Dixon…I think that my main reference, is the OC WHITE’s system of lighting : 2 pieces, and a Joint. We can create many artificial light, wall lamp, ceiling light, bedside lamp, desk lamp … two industrial pieces, from the beginning of 20th century, beautiful and quite simple.

Q:  You hail from Lyon, France, if I were to come and visit you and see your work how would you show me (I mean, the readers) a good time? Where? What? When? How? Who? LOL!

A: Yes, we’ll “Chiner” (french expression which means looking for vintage objects…), on a Sunday morning, in “Les puces du Canal”,The Flea market of Lyon . When we’ll have stroll up and down all the aisles; having fun while looking at all kinds of objects, we could have lunch in a great restaurant, with an excellent white wine from Macon.

Q: When did you create your first lamp?  Was it because you didn’t like what you saw in stores around you?

A:  I created my first lamp 25 years ago. I was reproducing lamps I loved, and couldn’t afford myself. The result was nothing like the original, but I liked it, most of the time.

Q: How has the response been to your work? Great idea to make an online store to purchase your lamps.

A: My inspiration, on my commercial website, was SIT AND READ. Again, from the USA … (OC WHITE lamps are from there too). I just love that website : simple, quality of the objects & the way the author presents them…

Q: I really love your blog! Please visit his blog you’re in for a great ride. Do you spend a lot of time surfing the web for your images and links? Do you know some of the people that you feature on your blog?

A: It’s true, I spend a lot of time (too much ?) on the Internet, looking for new websites, and pictures… I try to share it with my readers. I’m not fond of reading on a computer… That’s the reason why I don’t put so much text on my blog. I don’t know whose work I put on my blog… I just contact my favorite bloggers, to tell them how much I love their work, & to present them on my own…

Q: When can I expect to see you at Maison et Objet, Monsieur Abry?

A:  Maison & Objet is a huge show, in every sense… to show my work there would be an honor and a sign of success… That’s why I hope to one day show my collection there, as soon as possible….

Merci Olivier!

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