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Making the Leven Lighting Range

20 May 2021

We caught up with our lighting workshop team about our new Lighting Leven Range and the exciting new techniques used to create the range...
Walnut leven floor and pendant

Inspired by the Art Deco design movement, our new Leven Lighting Range celebrates vertical lines and simple geometry. Separated from our other lighting designs by its clean-cut, angular aesthetic the Leven Range has been developed using new techniques and woodworking skills. Let’s find out more about the product development of this future classic.

Design Development

Whether it's the rugged coastline of north Cornwall, a symmetrical flower form or the output from testing a new technique, Tom's first step is to put pencil to paper and sketch out his latest inspiration. Working alongside our talented workshop team, Tom then takes each part of the design through hours of careful experimenting to ensure it can be made as a functional working piece. Once a design has been initialised, next comes several rounds of prototyping where samples of the design are constructed and everything from the wood type, size and dry construction methods are analysed in detail to ensure a successful production process.

Tom hand drawing his designs

Each Leven design appreciates the natural world and is an embodiment of how it can inspire our life. We ensure that our environment is respected in each design we create, by choosing only ethical and sustainable resources.

GIF of Leven Drum Pendant turning from a sketch into final product.
The Leven Drum Pendant provides structure to your interior, honouring the angular shapes found in smooth sea-eroded cliff faces.

Every inch of each design is then checked meticulously by different members of the team to ensure the product will last a lifetime. Once the design has been digitally recreated, the sub plywood frame is created by our design engineer and produced using a laser cutter.

Skilfully Handcrafted

Strong, vertical lines characterised by the plywood frame are what makes the Leven Lighting Range unique, so this is where the crafting process starts. First, the talented craftsperson will check the condition of the frame to ensure it meets our high-quality, life long, standards. Once approved, each part is sanded carefully by hand and then assembled. 

Leven Frame
The laser cut plywood frame is assembled by hand, finished off with the iconic Tom Raffield branding.

Three or four very fine lengths of sustainably sourced oak or walnut wood, depending on the intended final lighting piece, are measured and cut for each design. For example, our Leven Drum pendants are crafted using four pieces of wood, whereas our Leven Flush Ceiling Lights require three. Each layer of the Leven Lighting Range is one full length of the chosen wood. Creating angular shapes is key for the Leven Lighting Range, so ensuring the layers are completely level is one of the most important steps for our team to master. Each tier is then secured into place with domed-head brass screws, meaning that no nasty chemicals or glues are used in our construction process.

Slices on timber for the Leven Range
Look familiar? The same pieces of wood are used in our Drift Pendant, Neap Wall Light and both the Skipper Pendant and Skipper Pendant Large. This helps us reduce our waste and ensure each piece of timber we source is used to its full potential.
The layers being slid into the frame
The craft persons most challenging, but rewarding, jobs – ensuring the Leven honours the Cornish word it is named after: Level!

A High Quality Finish

Once happy with the Leven light they have created, the piece is passed along to our finishing team. Each Leven Light will be sprayed with an eco-friendly, water-based varnish to provide a protective, natural, matt finish. Before being packed by our logistics team, the piece will be checked one last time as part of our quality control procedure, to confirm the design is perfect before being carefully packaged.

Final leven drum pendant in walnut in the workshop
Our dry construction process relies on the high technical ability of our lighting workshop team, who will ensure it is made with little glue and built to last a lifetime.

Packed With Precision

The order is then carefully packed in our plastic free, recyclable packaging, designed in house, and often to ensure that each and every box we dispatch is considered, secure and traceable back to its source. Each box is then collected by our trusted courier and sent to its forever home.

Leven Drum Pendant Oak

Explore the New Leven Lighting Range

Inspired by the striking formations of smooth sea-eroded cliff faces and ridged headlands that distinguish the north coast of Cornwall, the Leven Lighting Range features drum pendants, flush ceiling lights, plus wall and floor designs that showcase structural beauty.

Posted: 20.05.21
Updated: 20.05.21

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