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L.A. design firm Wrk-shp brings lightness to concrete

Building Material

“Warm” and “delicate” are not adjectives commonly associated with concrete, but new lighting and tables from the Los Angeles design studio Wrk-shp ask you to reconsider.

Ryan Upton and Airi Isoda, the designers behind Wrk-shp, recently launched their Cylinder Series, a three-piece collection that uses concrete on a more intimate scale.

“People think it will be really heavy, but at this scale, concrete is quite light,” said Isoda, who had used cast concrete in her jewelry line.

A 9-foot chandelier inspired the new collection. Wrk-shp came up with a fixture that can be reconfigured to accommodate different spaces.

“The idea was to make something that could dismount from its frame,” Upton said. The resulting chandelier is streamlined, a vision of clean modernism with a hint of raw industrial chic.

Hollow, powder-coated steel branches hang straight down from a base, dividing into three sub-branches that form tiers. Fabric-covered wires have been threaded through the piece, topped off with cast concrete or wood sockets designed to accommodate a T10 tubular light bulb.

Wrk-shp also devised a pendant light ($120) that consists of just the fabric-covered wire and cast concrete sockets. It plugs into the wall and hangs on any hook, post or fixture. The piece quickly sold out when Wrk-shp showed it at Unique LA.

A similarly simple palette of materials — concrete, wood and steel — appears in the Cylinder Series’ final piece, a three-legged table. (“We’re obsessed with odd numbers," Upton said. "We think it adds movement and dynamism.")

The solid wood top stands on powder-coated steel legs with softly rounded concrete socks. Its off-center back leg pierces the table and becomes a table lamp, again with the T10 bulb.

Eventually Wrk-shp hopes to expand the line by adding a table lamp and a floor lamp.

“We can’t move on yet," Upton said. I love the language we’re using in the designs.”

The pendant lights are available through these stores. The other pieces are made to order; contact the studio for pricing.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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