Having met today with Jonathan of DCW Lighting – a supplier of elegant and timeless lighting – HUB were reminded that one of the designers, Bernard Schottlander (1924 – 1999) ran a studio near to our offices in the 1950s. Known in later life as a sculptor, his earlier years focussed on successful industrial designs following his training as a welder and plater. His simple forms and primary colours appealed to post-war architects and he described himself as ‘a designer for interiors and a sculptor for exteriors’. HUB love his Mantis lamp series from 1951, inspired by the sculptor Alexander Calder, a similar product having been used at Hyde Park Gardens.
DCW’s dedicated catalogue to the range describe it:
‘Movement is intrinsic to all of Schottlander’s work: an artist, an engineer and in no small measure a handyman, he devised a clever system of counterweights combined with a series of strong, and flexible metal bars. The shade also is unique of its kind. Like an acrobat suspended in mid-air, it is made from aluminium using the repoussé and chasing techniques that are a part of the metalworker’s inventory of skills, but to which he has brought his sculptor’s eye to create a helical movement in which the symmetrical and the asymmetrical are in opposition. His lights, with their eternal play between balance and imbalance, reveal some of the secrets of what we mean by ‘solid’ and ‘empty’. And like his idol’s mobiles they appear to defy the laws of gravity. The essential poetry of the object is an invitation to enter a dream world of the most judiciously balanced elegance.’