Kirar: My biggest inspiration is nature. I’ll see something that alludes to something else or reminds me of a feeling. My next thought is to translate the organic — be it a flower, a rock or grasses blowing in the wind — into something three-dimensional. I’m also inspired by materials, which often can reflect things in nature. For the most part, I try to use natural materials — brass, iron, marble, wood, raffia and sisal.
One light fixture, Berti, was inspired by grass blowing in a field. I wanted to reflect both the luminous sunlight against dried long grasses and something that moves. It’s unusual for a light fixture to be kinetic, and there was no better way to achieve that than simply to use a lightly burnished brass metal tube. The result looks minimal and modern.
Another piece that I’m excited about is Tassel. This, for me, is rejoicing in the material itself. I traveled to Chile last year. In a hotel, there were these massive tassels holding back the drapery. I got to thinking why I was so attracted to it. I started sketching. The tassel became bigger and bigger and more and more prominent in the idea of the piece. Before I knew it, it was all about the tassel. It’s dramatic, unexpected, yet totally simple. Tassels are luxury items. So, a lamp of this size has a luxury reference. And with its silk shade, the piece is about soft elements becoming illuminated.
There’s a fine line between art and design, between art for art’s sake and art for function. I think that most of the time I hit the right theme. I’ve been drawing since I was a very young girl. My father, although a schoolteacher, used to paint on weekends. My mother sewed. So with my upbringing artistically, the design process feels very intuitive. From time to time, we here in the studio take a look at our processes and assess whether it’s still working or whether we should do something differently. But for me, the initial creative direction hasn’t changed. It all comes naturally.
Kirar began sketching ideas for the Tassel lamp after seeing dramatic drapery tassels at a hotel in Santiago, Chile. The scale of the black-and-navy tassel conveys the same luxurious feeling.
The solid brass-and-glass Berti pendant had its origins in a field of tall golden reeds near a valley farmhouse in the Andes Mountains.