Recycling is at the heart of artist Adrian Lawson’s lighting designs, and it’s an activity that he’s been practicing since he was young. Raised in Colonsay, a small and remote Scottish island with limited access to goods, Adrian, like the other islanders, learned to constantly improvise through reuse. Now based in Sydney, Adrian marries design with his background in recycling to create Avalon, a series of beautiful pendant lamps he crafts from reclaimed wooden Venetian-style blinds.
Adrian was inspired to create upcycled lighting after he moved to Australia in 2009 and noticed how people were throwing out wooden blinds that were still of good quality. Rather than let the material rot in a landfill, he rescued the blinds and began tinkering with ways to transform them into wooden light fittings. “What initially seemed a simple idea soon proved difficult,” says Adrian. “Most of the blinds [I found] came from different manufacturers who had different specifications and every set had been custom made to suit each house so were different to the next lot. All of this complicated things because the wood slats all had to be machined to a standard size to make a commercially viable product.”
As a result, Adrian built his own jig that allowed him to process wood slats up to 2.5 meters in length. He also set up a partnership with a local blind repairer and manufacturer who, instead of tossing unwanted components in the trash, now give those parts to Adrian. Once Adrian is finished processing the wood slats, he sends them back to the manufacturer to be finished, a process he describes as the “perfect cost-saving business arrangement.” Adrian’s Avalon pendant lamp series can be purchased online from his website and are available in 12 different styles.
Images via Adrian Lawson