3.05.2015

Troy-made lamps take Kickstarter by storm

Patented "Iris" Design Inspired by Vegetable Steamers

TROY-- A Troy lighting company has raised more than $32,000 so far through Kickstarter to expand its production of unique lamps.

Handmade by Troy-based Lightexture, the "Iris" lamp has two apertures of overlapping metal leaves that can be adjusted to control the amount of light and reflections it casts. The patented design draws inspiration from a stainless steel vegetable steamer.

"At first, we used actual vegetable steamers in our Steam Light series line of lamps," said Avner Ben Natan, who co-owns Lightexture with his partner Yael Erel. "After years of studying steamers, we developed the Iris shade using 30 stamped metal leaves that are assembled by hand in our Troy studio."

As one aperture on the Iris lamp opens, the other closes. When the lower aperture is fully open, light shines directly down, casting textured golden light onto the surface below. When the upper aperture is open, patterned light shines upward and bounces off the ceiling to fill the space with a warm, indirect light. The transition between these two provides a variety of reflections and light atmospheres. The Iris lamps give the user the ability to charge the light and create the atmosphere in the room.

Ben-Natan and Erel have developed prototypes of four Iris lamp styles, available in brass or stainless steel: a floor lamp; a desk lamp, a small pendant; and a large pendant. Now the couple is seeking online funders to help take their production to the next level.

From now until March 23, these lamps can be pre-ordered online for a special discounted price through Kickstarter. After the campaign ends, the prices for these incredible lamps will rise 40 to 50 percent.

When fund seekers create Kickstarter campaign, they are required to set a financial goal and deadline. Pledges are only collected if the campaign reaches its goal before the deadline.

In less than two days, the Iris lamp campaign met its $12,000 goal, meaning that all pledges will be collected later this month. Yet supporters can still take advantage of the discounted prices for the next 17 days by visiting Kickstarter.com and searching for "Iris Lamps." (Direct link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/407153735/iris-lamps )

There you can also see photos of the lamps and watch video demonstration of how they work.

The Iris Lamp campaign has been selected as a "Kickstarter Staff Pick."

"We were very moved by the support this project has been getting," said Erel. "We never imagined we would reach our goal in only 31 hours."

ABOUT LIGHTEXTURE

Ben-Natan and Erel are an architect and a lighting designer couple that started collaborating by making a lamp out of a vegetable steamer and loved it so much, they founded Lightexture in 2008. Ceramic artist Sharan Elran later joined the company. Lightexture is located at 2501 Fifteenth St. in Troy.

Erel is a licensed architect in New York and registered architect in Israel. She graduated with honors from The Cooper Union School of Architecture in Manhattan. She earned her masters in architecture with an Emphasis on lighting from RPI, and has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, The Cooper Union, Columbia University and Pratt Institute. She is currently teaching at Rensselaer School of Architecture, where she received the 2015 Brown Travel Fellowship for her research project "Constructing Reflections."

Ben-Natan has been working with light as material since the early 90's in his work as a lighting designer in films and television. After he moved to New York, he began to extend the work with light into the design of light fixtures and environments for art and dance installations, residential and commercial projects. He earned a bachelors degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel Aviv University.

For information about Lightexture, visit: http://lightexture.com or call (518) 274-0214.

ALBANY AIRPORT EXHIBIT

Later this month, four Lightexture lamps and objects that project "light drawings" will appear in a group exhibition titled "Lit" at the Albany International Airport. The artistic installations are the product of Erel's graduate research in architecture and light at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Architecture School. The show opens to the public on March 28 with a grand opening on April 10.

More information about Erel's graduate project "Subliminal Transcriptions," and a video, visit: http://www.lightexture.com/gallery/Yael_Erel_ST.html

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