About six months ago we decided that some of our medium sized pots would make rather nice lamp bases. This was an idea that had been explored on and off over the years but had never come to anything - the time now seemed right.
Most of our product, from a health and safety point of view, is very straight forward. The only real harm that could come from one of our pots might be a twisted back if you lift one of the big ones too vigorously! But introducing electrical components into the equation clearly requires some special consideration. If we were going to do this, then we had to do it properly, and so started what turned out to be a rather protracted process of development. With hindsight I can see why small businesses often shy away from complex new products; you need to be very sure that what you are investing so much time and effort into has a good chance of success, and that certainty is not always there. What we were proposing was not really very complex, but the process of ensuring compliance with NZ safety standards was far from simple!
There are numerous tests that have to be undertaken, certificates to be obtained and documents from suppliers to be sourced. One thing is for sure though, once you’ve been through the process and everything is signed off, you can be pretty sure of a safe product!
We are on the verge of releasing the new lamps into our showroom, and are looking forward to getting some feedback. We have chosen some of our favourite designs as well as our most popular recent additions, ‘Gypsy’, which looks quite stunning.
this case of course the shades are secondary to the base, and we have chosen plain colours and simple shapes. These will fit easily into most homes and importantly provide a gentle light that brings the glazed ceramic surface to life. Creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your home has much to do with managing the quality of light in a room; these lamps with the deep rich colours of the base sitting in a pool of gentle down-light create a marvellous ambience and are in themselves a great feature piece.
The brilliant glazes (‘brilliant’ is an in-house term for a traditional type of glaze that we use) are particularly lustrous, but when carefully lit the full depth of colour can be appreciated. The formulation of the glaze results in a highly reflective surface that like crystal glass is very ‘sparkly’. We do use a variety of types of glaze, and you can clearly see the differences in character. In many cases we combine different types to achieve contrasting effects; too much shine or reflection can actually reduce the visual impact of a colour. Mike our ceramicist is continually experimenting with different glaze formulas to achieve subtle variations and to maximise colour qualities. Not all the glazes are compatible, which adds yet another dimension to achieving a successful design, but that is another story!
We are planning to release two sizes of lamp base in four different designs, and these will be available shortly. A bit further back in the development process is another quite different style which we are calling ‘Candlestick’, and which should join the others sometime in November. If you have a favourite design we can of course produce a lamp base to suit, although that may take a few weeks to arrange.
Jill, our Marketing Manager will be promoting the lamps a bit closer to Christmas, but we’d love to hear from you if you have any ideas or would like to pop into the showroom in Matakana for a sneak preview!
- Nick C