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tube lamp

by Nik Willmore
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  • the story

Turn Up the Volume

With its Bakelite black box, toggle switch, mirror top, dimmer knob (a factory replacement for a Fender Telecaster guitar) and bulbs that evoke the vacuum tubes of high-end amplifiers, this lamp was designed as a tribute to high-end audio amplifiers. Illuminate your home with the minimalist design and retro style of this creation from scientist-turned-artist Nik Willmore. Made in New York City. Uses nine standard 25W bulbs, included.

  • details
Item ID
Made from
6.5"H x 7"W
  • the maker

Nik Willmore

Nik Willmore has always been fascinated with the elegance and beauty of science. The biological creation of a psychologist and a physicist, his childhood was that of a budding mad scientist. Favorite toys included a soldering iron and a microscope. He devoured Dad's library of works by Buckminster Fuller and classic tomes on natural structure. Public education in suburbia combined with the Siberian climate of Minnesota gave him a tough and rebellious edge as he fought to retain creativity and avoid frostbite. Drawn into the three dimensional world of synthetic chemistry he developed methods to make atomic scale machinery, graduating top in his Ph.D. class from Columbia. At Harvard he grew perfect crystals in arrays of microscopic test tubes. Nik had become a scientist.

His obsession with natural form soon broke out of the laboratory and into the art studio. Nik had become an artist.

In his hands molecules are chandeliers with atoms replaced by a calmly lit light bulbs. Rocket launching scaffolds are candelabras. Vacuum tube instruments are desk lamps. Observers liken his studio to the space station, where computers cut parts for hand assembly by design students.

Nik's delights in sudden insight, when invention follows from contemplation of first principles. As objects design themselves when a new idea is chased to its logical conclusion and structure flows from chosen function. His is a high tech vision of the traditional role of art in revealing beauty in everyday life, inviting you to see the world as an astonishingly mysterious place. His lamps radiate an intensely calming effect with an edge he likens to that of a purring tiger. Nik intention is playful but serious, an attempt to communicate a sense of fun integrated with a sense of the profound.

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