Natural Wonders
April 14, 2009 - 12:00pm

For Moth Design's Shannon Shapiro, infusing her lighting with organic motifs is not enough. Inspired by nature, she thinks "it's time I tried to save some of it."

I would definitely say I'm inspired by nature. Yet, at the same time, I am particularly inspired by French modernism. My coral sconces, twig lamps and all of [those designs] come out of that era and the idea of collecting the exotic. Right after the cusp of high modernism in France in the early '30s, Corbusier and others were doing these incredibly austere interiors. They began to embrace art objects, the use of natural materials and the representation of nature in these spaces.



Moth Design's  Bough sconce

When I started this in 2000, I had only one coral sconce. I initially built up my line doing pieces for interior design clients, which is why all my lamps are usually named after the client. The first piece was the Kiki (Kirsten Dunst) coral sconce.

    The newest pieces are the Bough wall sconce and the Lizard Brooch chandelier, which we are offering in Swarovski-encrusted finishes, as well as other finishes. I'm really done with the coral. The problem with being in this business is that I get sick of things before they even hit the market. I keep thinking coral is out, and then someone says, "You know, coral is all the rage now."


Moth Design's Lizard

Brooch chandelier

I have two new lamp lines I've designed that are in the prototype phase because I haven't found the right engineers in this country. I'm probably going to be producing them in Europe next year. One line is going to be glass with photographic images, a limited edition series. The other is a line I am hoping I can sell to Target, to everybody. It's green design. If I say I am inspired by nature, I think it's time I try to save some of it.


    I think that green design is the way to go. A very good friend of mine, a designer, taught a class on green design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. It's fascinating. I am actually working on designing a line of his lamps right now.

    I don't want to say too much, but basically my green designs all have handmade qualities. I'm buying exotic reclaimed hardwoods and doing these modernist driftwood sculptures. These woods come from houses that have been demolished by earthquakes or hurricanes all over the world.

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