360SEE x Steve Bewely [Private Commission]
Creative Direction, Design, Project Management
NOAH’S ARK CHANDELIER, [CREATIVE DIRECTOR]
When a client approached me needing a Noah’s Ark Chandelier for their barn — providing no other information except that it should include their dogs and ‘wow them’ — I scratched my head for a second and then got to work.
After a site visit to the barn to determine proper scale for the chandelier and with budgets set, I presented the client with three different concepts, in three different media, with three different artists in mind as creative partners.
Ultimately the client chose my first and favorite concept: an ark shaped chandelier covered with handmade paper that, when illuminated, revealed the silhouettes of their favorite animals.
Collaborating with California artist and lighting designer, Steve Bewely, we conceived a 4-foot long structure made almost entirely out of reclaimed, repurposed, and artist made materials. Over the next couple weeks sketches were drawn, scanned, traded back and forth, refined, computer rendered, and materials were sourced.
The skeleton for the ark was formed from reclaimed steel from garage door rails, the animals — hand cut from sheets of copper, the paper — poured using cheese cloth, straw, and banana leaf, the roof — assembled using reclaimed wood, and the completed fixture — suspended from the rafters of the barn with intertwined hemp rope that attached to hooks welded to the bow and stern.
Over the next few months, after dozens of emails (featuring more drawings, ideas, and photographs of work-in-progress), hours on the phone, and a trip from Chicago to Bewley’s Arroyo Grande, CA studio, the chandelier was completed.
Crating a chandelier skinned in paper, shipping it 2100 miles, and installing it from a 25′ ceiling took as much planning, design, and creativity as the execution of the piece itself. Supervising a cross-country team of crate builders, shippers, preparators, scaffolding builders, and electricians the piece was successfully installed.
The Noah’s Ark Chandelier “wowed” our client and others took notice, too.