Auman: I always start with pattern design. That is the way I build my pieces. Pattern design is really important to me even though I don’t do pattern design in the traditional sense. I don’t design pattern for print or for fabric. I’ve always just designed pattern for metal work. When someone looks at my work, they are not going, “Oh, Megan is a pattern designer” in the same way they say, “Amy Butler is a pattern designer.” But, it’s at the core of what I do. I design the patterns first, and then I apply the pattern to the lamps I am making. It’s as if I was building a metal object in fabric.
Pattern design has always been at the heart of the way I think. The way people layer patterns has always been interesting to me. I am fascinated by the historical layering of patterns, like the Victorian era and even the ’60s. I also love the natural world and botanical and floral imagery. My goal is to make the imagery more modern, more graphic.
Everything starts with sketches. Then, I design the repeat pattern, and from there I start to figure out how I can apply the pattern to pieces. Because I do everything digitally, I have the option of changing the scale. I’m not limited to scale being the same from one piece to the other. So a pattern might be small on one piece and larger on another. I am also a big advocate of making paper models and “mockettes.” Just the process of playing and putting things together excites me.
One of my goals is to make sure that there isn’t a huge leap between the forms I use in my jewelry and the forms in my new lighting collection. I want people who have seen my jewelry to see the lighting and go, “Oh, yeah. That’s Megan Auman’s work.” So, I have kept the core thing in my jewelry line — the leaf shape.
Right now, I am working out the kinks on larger lighting pieces. I have a large pendant lamp in the works, which I think will be a showpiece over a dining room table or at the center of a room. Eventually I see myself creating shades and designing free-standing lamps. I see all of that happening in the future.