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Catellani & Smith

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Catellani & Smith Q&A

Whats most important when selecting a fixture from Catellani & Smith for your home ?

One of the most important criteria, in my opinion, when choosing a light for my living space, is the mood it gives off. For example, when you walk into a kitchen, you want a light that makes the entire room feel bright, something very functional, with an airy feel to it; however, if you’re lighting a dining room, for example, you may want something that is a little dimmer, that gives off more of an “evening” feel. A light fixture that can be casual and bright, but also romantic and soft.

The aesthetics of a light are also incredibly important. Putting an antique light fixture in a room where the design is modern will look mismatched — you want something that flows with the rest of your room. The light shouldn’t be the focus of your furniture, but it should make people stop and look for a second or two. That is the feeling I have when I see the sleek, gorgeous, and honestly, just down right artistic lights that are crafted by Catellani and Smith.

Where is Catellani & Smith located ?

Catellani & Smith is located in the Villa di Serio, which is a small community in the province of Bergamo, (in the region of Lombardy) in Northern Italy. It is located roughly fifty kilometres northwest of Milan. The company was found in Lombardy, in 1989.

What is the history and philosophy of Catellani & Smith lighting ?

Originally, when Enzo Catellani first started the business, he told everybody that he was a blacksmith named Carlo (which was actually his father’s name), and that he was working with the famous British racetrack architect Logan Smith. This news gave him attention, it turned heads in his direction. The truth though, was that Logan Smith was actually Enzo’s horse. That year, his craftsmanship caught the attention of some German distributors who decided to present his fixtures at the Ambiente exposition in Frankfurt. Enzo’s work was very well received, and he made his company official. Credit to his creativity, determination, and the input of an excellent team helped Enzo to become more and more successful over time. He had very prestigious successes in Europe, as well as around the world. His company’s uniqueness in their production system and the nature of their facilities and work spaces have made Catellani & Smith an international favourite, for clients and journalists alike. Enzo Catellani invented a new working style that reflects his specific skill sets and talents.

Skipping over some time now, say twenty five years, Enzo’s lighting company is now world renowned for the innovation that is seen his his fixtures — sculpturally and technologically. Enzo has remained down to earth and humble in all those years, and keeps his focus strictly grounded in the importance of craftsmanship. He also insists on having his on hands on process when it comes to creating his works of art. As Enzo says himself,

“When I create a lamp, I always start off with a prototype; my laboratory is a workshop where I continually accumulate materials, components and objects of all different kinds; and this is where everything was born... I assemble, weld, bend, shape... I need to feel the materials, to see how they play with light. In this initial stage there is no real design, the idea must take shape immediately, becoming an object. Only at this point do I move on to the traditional design phase: feasibility, technical characteristics and much more; it’s an idea of light, and the desire to tell about it, which guides me through the construction. I believe that this process can be felt in products by Catellani & Smith. A large part of my production is made up by pieces that require a great amount of craftsmanship: it’s the hand of the craftsman that builds them, his manual work that creates the imperfection, making a truly unique object.” 

What are the most popular collections of Catellani & Smith ?

Two of the most beautiful collections are the Oggetti Senze Tempo collection with fixtures like the Nike table lamp or the Disco ceiling lamp  , and the Fil de Fer collection  . These collections are beautiful and intricate, while also being modern, sleek, and simple. The Oggetti Senze Tempo collection sees Enzo’s ideas come together to create some very smooth, modern designs. His Lampadina is beautiful, yet casual enough to be a desk lamp in your office. The Freno standing lamp is a gorgeous, smooth light fixture that could steal the attention of your guests, while lighting up the entirety of your living room. Its intertwined nickel cords give off a gracefulness that most modern light fixtures lack.

The Fil de Fer collection, which very roughly translates to “wire” or “yarn made,” is easily one of the most beautifully intricate collections I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Just the intricacy of the pieces alone will take your breath away. The Fil de Fer Cascata, for example, is a beautiful, tangled mess that shines a soft light in the space around it. The woven-cone fixture sits on the wall and serves as both light fixture, and artwork for your home. All of the pieces in this collection share that similarity - why buy both light and artwork, when you can have both in one piece?

PostKrisi is another popular and innovative collection of the company. This collection is also a family of matching lights consisting of table lamps, floor lamps and pendant lights. The lamps of this collection consist of lamp shades arranged in cluster of decreasing numbers that provides an effect of cascading illumination. The lamps are made from stainless steel rods and glass shades. The glass shades of the lamps are hand painted and can be designed as per the needs of the customer. The lamp shades are available in shades of blue, red, yellow, white and natural.

What are their most popular products ?

Our two favourite products are Enzo's Gold Moon and Nodo. The Gold Moon is part of the Fil de Fer collection; it is woven so intricately and carefully. It gives off a gorgeous, soft yellow light and provides that comforting, evening feel. I can just imagine curling up in a big, cozy chair with a good book, and the Gold Moon lamp beside me, shining onto the pages of my novel.

Nodo is part of the Oggetti Senze Tempo collection, and therefore it is simple and sleek, yet also elegant. The neck of the lamp knots itself, creating a gorgeous curvature that your eyes will follow from bottom to top, just to be even more impressed with the head of the lamp - it has the same look as mesh, but with much more mature and well made look.

To view the workspace and process of Enzo Catellani himself, and to hear some wisdom from that craftsman, click the link below.