Not Your Parents' Hubbardton Forge
If you're familiar with Hubbardton Forge lighting, what images come to mind? My first taste of the company's products was 20 years ago before I was a designer when I was selecting a pendant for my kitchen. I was attracted to the simple lines of their forged iron fixtures inspired by nature and arts and crafts style.
That is not today's Hubbardton Forge.
In January 2017, Hubbardton Forge introduced two new lines that bring the company into new product territory: the Synchronicity line and Vermont Modern. I saw fixtures from both lines with the #DesignHounds at the 2017 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and they were clear and welcome departures from what I've come to expect from the Hubbardton Forge brand.
For designing Synchronicity, Hubbardton Forge assembled craftspeople with backgrounds in architecture, jewelry making, stone carving and artisan glass. Uniting Swarovski crystals with LED technology, the outcomes are dramatic and utterly contemporary.
The Solitude fixture (above) features angular crystals emanating from an LED light guide. The crystals and LED light source scatter light brilliantly, casting a glamorous sparkle.
Hubbardton Forge has partnered with Swarovski to introduce Swarovski's Wave Cut crystal, a crystal that has both concave and convex surfaces.
Close-up of the Swarovski Strass Wave Cut Crystal, left, and the crystal in the Synchronicity Courbe Duet Pendant, right. Photos courtesy of Hubbardton Forge.
The sinuous steel forms of the Courbe Duet Pendant (above) match the graceful arch of the Wave Cut crystals. Hidden LED light sources make this fixture less about illumination and more about art.
Artisanship is evident in the Synchronicity Solstice Pendant, below. Each of the textured glass pieces is handmade.
As graceful compositions of glass and steel, the Synchronicity fixtures lend themselves to more luxurious settings. In contrast, Vermont Modern fixtures are more edgy and geometrical, catering to a more modern and industrial vibe. Available in six standard colors -- black, white, gold, silver, red and aqua -- on powder-coated steel, Vermont Modern's fixtures are perfect for adding a whimsical touch to not-so-serious interiors.
The Vermont Modern Anemone LED Pendant features bristles in a steel frame and comes in circular and linear forms.
At ICFF, Vermont Modern displayed an aqua floor-lamp version of their Cumulus fixture. It's a fun sculptural piece that floats on its base and has mobile-like qualities when ever-so-slightly pushed.
When I saw the fixture as a gold pendant in the Vermont Modern catalog, I saw its potential in a variety of settings.
As my experience at ICFF shows, it's time to take a fresh look at Hubbardton Forge and its sister lines.