Made in California: Gabriel Abraham's
industrial chic Atelier lights
Living in a historic R.M. Schindler apartment in Los Angeles may be architecturally desirable, but for designer Gabriel Abraham, it did have one drawback: "The walls and ceiling were made of plywood, so it was very hard to install lighting fixtures." Abraham found inspiration in a photograph of the Potence lamp that French modernist architect Jean Prouve designed in 1950 for his La Maison Tropicale, a prefab metal house design erected in the Congo. The Potence, which is nearly 7 feet long, has been reissued by Vitra and sells for $1,560.
Working on a more modest budget, Abraham crafted his own, smaller version of the wall-mounted swiveling lamp, shown in the Schindler apartment above.
"Friends got to like it, so I started to make them as gifts and it caught on," Abraham says.
Now he produces small quantities in Los Angeles. The bent-steel lamps are available in black, white, gray and a natural oil-rubbed finish with 3- or 4-foot arms ($375 and $450). He also builds custom sizes.
"The socket can accommodate a bulb up to 60 watts, but a lower wattage or Victorian style bulb is more pleasing," Abraham says.
Made from a single piece of sheet metal, it is laser-cut and bent into its precise geometric shape. The $275 lamp uses a halogen bulb that can be set at two levels of brightness.
-- David A. Keeps
Photo credits: Gabriel Abraham