Location: Cornwall, UK
Completed: October 2010
The Sleeper Light is a bespoke fixture I designed and installed in collaboration with David Buurma to give an eye-catching section of reclaimed wood a third lease of life. David loved the texture of the piece, which was first used as a railway sleeper and later as a cutting block in a granite quarry, and requested a design that took advantage of its unique appearance, while also providing a functional and attractive light source as a centrepiece over the family dining table.
To draw attention to the rough striations in the wood, I used LED strip in the cut-out sections of the sleeper, creating relief in the rugged textures and highlighting its industrial heritage.
Along the length of the fixture are seven small porcelain shades, hung at varying heights to match the organic feel of the sleeper. Completed in 2010, this fixture was created before the mainstream usage of LEDs, so each shade houses a halogen lamp, which provide the main lighting. The lighting is warm white and fully dimmable, so the fixture is practical and flexible, and able to complement any atmosphere or occasion.
The natural material of the porcelain shades is in keeping the untreated wood of the sleeper, while the honeycombed pattern of each shade creates a beautiful speckled effect on the walls of the room at night.
The Sleeper Light was a complex project - fortunately the ceiling was already reinforced, so was able support its considerable weight - but the end result is a dramatic fixture that provides both a beautiful sculpture during the day, and a visually striking light source at night.
Photo Credits: David Buurma