Canning: When working on a collection, I have an awareness of what’s required by the market. My design brief would indicate the direction I’d take. Combined with my own design slant, I generate concepts with the client in a collaborative process from agreement to product launch.
In my realm, form takes the primary role, while I include functionality as a prerequisite. I love to play with contemporary and traditional. You can put the most traditional, fussy, heavily dressed chandelier into a minimalist contemporary surrounding, and it can look retro and be the focal point of the room. A crystal lamp or pendant blends with any style. But do I have a preference? Yes, contemporary.
I’m old school. I sketch and take notes at the concept stage and use CAD only for technical design. I strive for designs that are equally market-driven and art-driven. Whether it hangs from a cruise liner ceiling weighing 3 tons or is a lamp on your bedside table, the design principle is the same. You have to capture the light and distribute it, maintaining that fine balance between aesthetics and functionality.
The Etoile Series is a departure from the traditional perception of Waterford’s design style. I designed the original Etoile, which captured the imagination of customers by bringing a brave new shape and Art Deco style to the brand. Etoile is Art Deco, a period I studied as an industrial design student in Dublin. An Irish designer, Eileen Gray, was the focal point of my studies. She was one of the first true influences of Art Deco and Modernism, combining decorative and minimal forms in stunning, classic designs.
This was the perfect style vehicle to transport Waterford lighting to another design dimension. I developed a clean, symmetrical shape, which distributed light using the famous Waterford prisms, thereby letting the crystal do the talking. Recently, I developed the Etoile Nouveau Luminescence Collection. Here, I changed the design to cleaner lines, yet the crystal is still talking.