Sunday, January 20, 2008

Now That's Some Powerful KARMA! and WE HAVE A WINNER

We are pleased to announce that Patricia Grayof Vancouver British Columbia is the lucky winner of these beautiful Cranberry and Cream vintage Murano Lamps. The drawing was held last Friday morning 1/18/2008 at Debris Antiques in Dallas. Our friend Jim, the manager of Debris did the honors.
As soon as we knew the name of the lucky winner, I of course did a google search and was so blown away by Patricia’s work. Please check out her website to see for yourself how talented she is. Patricia has been published in quite a few of the major design magazines including Architectural Digest. I love the subtext on her home page, “Exceptional Homes for Exceptional People”.
Patricia first heard about Swank Lighting and our contest through one of our favorite blogs This Is Glamorous.
Now about that Karma… Unbeknownst to any of us, Patricia was actually just a few blocks away at the Dallas Market Center when her card was drawn. She was on a buying trip at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, and then on to Dallas for the Total Home and Gift show at Market Center last week. Patricia tells us that she was visiting with her friend Joni from Cote De Texas the night before and they even talked about Swank Lighting.
Congratulations to Patricia and thanks to all who entered. We had so much fun with this contest. We wish we could give all of you a pair of lamps. Seriously! But, we would probably be out of business. I promise we will have other contests though. Maybe sometime in the spring when we release our line of Vintage Deruta Italian Ceramic Lamps from the mid 20th century, also found hidden in the Balboa warehouse. Ooops did I let that slip out. Oh well, more to come.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Big News: Swank's Murano Lamps chosen as "Must Have" by D Home Editors

I posted a teaser last year about a major design publication featuring Swank Lighting’s Murano Lamps in their Jan/Feb issue. Well I can now finally “spill the beans”. We were approached by the fabulous D Home Magazine in early December to arrange a photo shoot at the studio of the wonderful photographer Chris Plavidal. We had a wonderful day with Chris who shot 11 of our lamps chosen by the editors of D Home.
As things usually go in magazine publishing, you end up with more material than you can actually use in the magazine. So in the end the editors chose 8 of our lamps and published the article under the heading “I Want Candy”. The article is so much fun, and if you are lucky enough to be in a location where D Home is sold, pick up a copy. The Jan/Feb issue is the first issue of a major re-design and take it from me, it is BEAUTIFUL.
Swank had one of 3 lamp finalists for the cover shot as well. Unfortunately we were not chosen for the cover, but there is a cute little article about the cover titled “Goldilocks and the three lamps”. We are in great company. The lamp chosen for the cover was a Gray Morrell sculpted arm lamp at Allan Knight and Associates. The other finalist was Jan Showers Venitian Series #4. This cute little article is not posted online but I will post it as soon as I have a chance to scan it into a PDF file.
Thanks so much to the wonderful Rebecca Sherman, Executive Editor, and Andrea Tomek, Art Director at D Home. And of course a big thanks to photographer Chris Plavidal for doing such a wonderful job and making our day in the photo studio so much fun.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Featured Artist: Sascha Brastoff

Back when I was a kid, nothing was more exciting than when my parents threw a party. They would bring out the Dewar’s, fill relish trays with finger food and set up everything in the living room, which was only used for these nights. The hi fi would be stacked with Tony Bennett and Frances Fay and the guests would arrive all dressed up. Soon the room filled with smoke and laughter.

It was on one of these evenings that my mama got a hostess gift to end all gifts - a ceramic ashtray by Sascha Brastoff. It was shaped like a UFO. No, it was shaped like an igloo. I had never seen anything so cool.

It totally stood out from the sea of teak and Naugahyde that was our living room. My mama never really appreciated the ashtray or the bubble-filled Murano lamp it sat next to. That’s why she gave them to me as a present for my first house. And, that’s what got me started on my Brastoff and Murano lamp collecting.

Sascha Brastoff was hugely famous for his ceramic works. He had a very successful studio in Los Angeles in the 1950s, and was supplier to the stars in all matters ceramic. Check out the well written book by Steve Conti if you want more info on the late great Sascha B, as he signed his pieces.

You want my take on his pieces? He is just now being rediscovered. His art pieces can be had for a song, still. Check out the current eBay listings. And in this Crate & Barrel / Design Within Reach world, Sascha is infinitely more affordable, more chic, and certainly more of an investment steeped with California heyday - Hollywood Regency lore.

My mama’s ashtray? I still have it - are you kidding? It’s priceless to me.

Sascha Brastoff pieces are part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as several other museums around the U.S.


Doug at Swank