Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
The Little Bishop Pendant Light Hook
A ceiling hook designed specifically for drop pendant lights (or hang lamps), the Little Bishop positions and holds light fittings in saintly style.
Skilfully shaped and cast by hand, the lighting cable is guided to "cloak" the Little Bishop with no knot, and a seamless hang from the ceiling makes it genuinely unique in form and function.
The Little Bishop is a two piece product consisting of a post and a hook. A custom screw fitting joins the two parts together and allows for the hook section to be positioned at any angle relative to the direction of the cable coming from the ceiling rose.
It is very easy to install. The electrical cable (or flex), is wrapped around a cylindrical groove that uses a combination of friction and pressure to lock the cable and light fitting in place.
There are three lengths of post section available – small, medium and large – 45mm, 80mm, and 120mm respectively.
Currently available only in white, the finish is a durable, bright white undercoat that gives the customer the option of painting it to match the space, or leaving as is.
For years, Dominique Hunter an interior designer from Melbourne Australia was frustrated with the makeshift method in which cable hung pendant lights were positioned and secured. The common solution at the time – a brass hook – was not appropriate for many of the great lights she used in her interiors.
So she enlisted the help of her partner Antony Richards to create an elegant and natural way to hang pendant lights in her projects.
While managing their business Hunter & Richards, Antony used his spare time (and a distant background in jewellery design) to carefully hand craft a hook that would suspend cable hung ceiling lights with no knot, clamp, bolt, screw or clip.
"We wanted a solution that would not stand out as a feature, one that would let the cable hang naturally" says Dominique.
A decision made early in the project was to have the cable lock itself down. This lead to a form that was beautiful in itself, but when wrapped with the electrical cable it took a step back and let the design of the light fitting do it's job. It let the light "shine".
"There are so many beautiful light fittings on the market, and just because you're not spending a lot on one doesn't mean you have to compromise on the minor details of an interior project by using a cheap hook from the hardware store. We wanted something that was designed for this purpose alone, and be a solution that would suit any pendant no matter the budget or style of interior" Dominique added.
After some workshop experimentation a prototype was born. A small run of cast reproductions allowed Antony and Dominique to test the design on one of their interior projects. They were very happy with the result, and decided to develop the product further.
Antony turned to the Internet to raise funds and gauge people's interest. The popularity of crowd funding made Kickstarter an obvious choice, with it's ability to spread the word quickly and keep people updated on the status of the project proving to be a powerful tool in the birth of a new product.
Antony said "the Kickstarter campaign was a great way to get people in on our story and to have them join our journey as a small, independent design practice doing good design work and getting their first product out to market. It's also a great way for people to be first with a new product or to grab a bargain, as the ideas featured are usually priced a lot lower than existing products and established brands".
The Kickstarter campaign was successful, raising AUD$15,467 or 309% of the funding goal. This allowed Dominique and Antony to complete the development of the Little Bishop and then move ahead with production. July 2015 saw the first batch of Little Bishop Pendant Light Hooks delivered to expectant Kickstarter Backers, as well as buyers who Pre Ordered from the online store.
Responses have been very positive, with many comments ranging from the eloquent communication of the design process, the frequent and informative updates, the fast delivery, and most importantly the high quality of the product itself.
A few internet design blogs have featured the Little Bishop including the well respected Design Milk and Em's Blog (Elle Decoration Europe). This has led to a slew of retailers wanting to stock this unique product, including some famous museums, some well know lighting companies, and various other forward thinking online and real world retailers.
The Little Bishop is hand made.
Initially shaped from a rod of Tasmanian Oak, the circular groove that neatly fits a cable was carefully carved and sanded in Antony's small shed in Prahran, Melbourne. He used a Dremel and a stack of sandpaper on improvised tools to produce a negative form with a positive function.
This first prototype was cast in silicone, from which subsequent reproductions were made using a quick set resin, allowing Antony to refine the shape to perfection.
Producing large quantities of the Little Bishop is quite labour intensive as silicone moulds are still used, much the same as in the earlier prototyping stage. Because the design has deep, spiral undercuts, it is not possible to use injection moulding without compromising the design. Silicone moulds are flexible and allow the reproductions to be removed, however this process means that the silicone moulds quickly degrade. New silicone moulds are made from master parts after only a handful of castings.
The castings are done by hand in a small workshop that typically does highly skilled prototyping work. Each unit is cast as a one off piece. After the castings are removed from the silicone moulds, they are cleaned up by hand, and spray painted before the screws and joint fittings are hand assembled.
Is a fantastic new design for a small object that can make beauty and functional something that before was just a hook.
Nothing to say to improve this project because for us is very well done.