Behind the Design: Loer Lighting Range
Weightless illumination, supple steam bent wood and kitchen island styling. We catch up with Tom and the design team to discuss the inspiration behind our latest Loer Lighting Range.
The Loer Lighting Range is a different style to your other lighting designs - what inspired it?
DT: "Our starting point for creating the Loer Lighting Range was the fact we wanted to design a light that incorporated solid lengths of sustainable ash hardwood, translucent glass and brushed metallic brass; we had the materials fixed in our heads as we knew they would look beautiful together.
The design itself is inspired, like all our designs, by the natural world that surrounds us. The Loer takes its shape from the elliptical orbits of the planets and moons that line the inner edges of our vast solar system, and the flowing curves reminiscent of the celestial movements of the sky above. The rounded forms of sustainably sourced ash reminds me of outer rings of a planet and the translucent glass orb with clouded bands of warm celestial white light, the planet itself."
"The aim for the design was to capture a weightless aesthetic, be handcrafted from mixed materials and be as sustainable as possible, in keeping with our other steam bent products"- Tom Raffield, Founder.
Talk us through the design phase?
DT: "We often sketch ideas first and then once we have a few potential designs in mind, we begin experimenting in the workshop with wood and other mixed mediums to create the fluid, dynamic shapes we envisaged. Each concept in this journey is captured: the shapes that work, the ones with flaws and products that need to go back to the drawing board are all recorded to use and learn from in future.
Once we have a design that works aesthetically as well as functionally, our design team will work on producing bending jigs and engineering components that ensure product consistency. It’s a long process but very worthwhile in the end".
How did you name the Loer Lighting Range?
DT: "We like to make sure the name really suits the design, connects with the original concept and has ties to our coastal studio location in Cornwall. ‘Loer’ means ‘Moon’ in Cornish and consequently we felt the name suited the finished product rather well.
There’s a fair amount of research that goes into selecting new product names to ensure they’ll work on the market and lots of discussion around the studio to see what fits. Our whole team agreed on Loer and liked the connotations of the word and what it symbolised".
How have you ensured the Loer Lighting Range is a sustainable lighting design?
TR: "With the success of our Ash Accessories collection back at the start of the year, we’ve really enjoyed experimenting with the properties of ash wood. Sustainability is really important to us, so using ash wood for the Loer was the obvious choice as it’s the fastest growing hard wood and also self-seeding, which means it grows in plentiful supply. Ash is also a durable and supple material, allowing the tight bend of the Loer to hold its shape and be a striking feature as well as a structural element.
The bulb inside the glass globe in each design is also replaceable – something we found a lot of the other designs on the market did not consider. We’d never create a light that wouldn’t last a lifetime and become an heirloom of the future – it’s really important to us that everything we create is able to stand the test of the time".
What is your favourite design in the Loer Lighting Range?
DT: “Choosing a favourite will always be tricky. We have all fallen in love with the Loer Table Light, it is such a unique table top form that draws all eyes. It completely transforms spaces, whether switched on or off. The Loer Pendant Small – Trio Cluster is also extremely special to us because it was so highly requested by our lovely customers! It is great to hear so many people asking for this design, and knowing it will be loved whilst we were designing it, gave us such a buzz”.
Which rooms or spaces do you feel the Loer best lends itself to?
DT: "The Loer is such a versatile design it could be utilised in a number of rooms, spaces and property styles. I imagine it would look great in a bedroom as an alternative to a bedside table light, but equally look striking when hung in clusters in an open living space, above a dining table or kitchen island".