Dennis Beard: I love mixing elements from the past and giving them a new twist. One of the Hepburns said that she liked “classic with a twist.” I appreciate all periods of art, and I studied them in art history. But I also love contemporary. Even a common object that someone has done fresh and new makes me super excited.
My recent work for LBL Lighting includes Gypsy. Gypsy is a linear fixture with lace patterns laser cut into the metal. The linear fluorescent highlights the patterns. The shape is simple with a play of organic textures. It connects me to my past in the fashion industry.
As a boy, I’d visit my grandparents in Kentucky and they’d have on the Grand Ole Opry, and Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton would come out with all her sparkles. I was glued to the set. I did a pavé crystal cross as a gift for Dolly. I told her, “I’m blaming you for my love of crystal.”
That’s the story behind Lulu. The Lulu is a square box with an LED color changer. I used different crystal shapes. Some are clear. Some have an etched bottom. You can flood the box with pink or purple or green LED light, and the color reflects in the crystals. The inspiration also came from a restaurant in Dallas, which has large, square ceiling niches lined with mirrors. Each niche has a crystal chandelier and color-changing LEDs. I came up with flush mounts and the idea using textured metal instead
When I’m on trips and see ideas, I jot them down and stash them away as they come. I don’t go out and say, “Today I’m going to design this, this and this.” One of my professors said, “Go out everyday. Fill your brain like a sponge with ideas. Don’t think of just one thing you saw. Let all of it move around in your mind. Then, go back and design.”
Dennis Beard (Photo courtesy of Sara Kerens)
LBL’s Lulu flush mount is lined in hammered metal that features playful, suspended crystals in varying lengths. The metal and crystals reflect light from color-changing LEDs for depth and drama.