Sarah Nedovic‘s back-to-front route to lighting design is evident in her ‘Lady’ lamps. After picking up her first lump of clay only a few years ago, the artist (and now lighting designer!) started experimenting with sculpture, before her interests expanded to lighting. Now her sculptural ceramic bodies form the bases of her lamps, standing tall and proud as works of art in their own right. The sharp line of each ‘Lady’s’ lampshade fans out gracefully, perched atop each base almost like a striking hat. They’re total showstoppers, and perfect studies in balance, shape and form.
Hey Sarah! Can you tell us a little more about the process of creating you Lady lamps? What materials do you use, and how long do they usually take?
For my lamps, I always start by sketching the designs on paper and then use the drawings as a guide for how the pieces come together. It can also be an evolutionary process – sometimes the piece will completely change direction halfway through making it.
The process of creating one single piece takes many weeks, including drying, firing lamps in the kiln and adding electrical wiring to them. I like to use clay which has a lot of grit and character. It is important to me that people see the surface texture of the clay, and hopefully see that it is a form that has come from the earth and not a perfect, mass-produced piece. The colour and texture of the clay can tell you a lot about the region the clay has come from. I am really interested in the geology and origins of where the clay I use comes from.
Can you tell me about the space in which you typically create?
Initially, I created my sculptures in the kitchen of the apartment! The kitchen bench space was quickly taken up by my sculpting tools and slabs of clay. I have some lovely memories from those early days.
I took some time off when my son was born, and then moved into a studio space in South Yarra which I share with Interior Architects, Pasquale Cook. The studio is in an old building that was once a home, so it feels lived in. It has white walls, large north-facing windows and Baltic Pine floorboards, and the rooms are spacious, open and light. I design and create my lamps in this space, and then fire them off the premises.
Do you have any key references or inspirations?
I find a lot of my inspiration in nature. I think my training as a textile designer has encouraged me to look for patterns and shapes all around me. Many of my lamps are inspired by patterns I see in the natural environment. I love looking at the intricate patterns on leaves, and the rock formations along Flinders coastline. I also love the tranquillity nature can bring. I process and develop a lot of my ideas while I am walking in nature.