Designer Camille Saum headed to the Baltimore Craft Show last February to do some serious shopping. What she came home with -- besides five new hats -- was the kernel of an idea for a room based around one of the personality-plus, exotic lamps of exhibitor Dez Ryan.
Now, the granny-smith-green table lamp with the swooping bell-like shade is center stage in Saum's Guest Room at the National Symphony Orchestra Decorators' Show House in Washington, lighting a room in Paul Mellon's former private art gallery. The same lamp, whose style name is "Tina Tina," is also on display every Thursday night on the set of NBC's "Friends" in Monica and Rachel's living room.
The Brooklyn artist started producing distinctive lamps in 1987 out of vintage parts scavenged from flea markets and mid-century modern shops. Her designs began attracting a growing audience of interior designers and collectors. As it became harder and costlier to find interesting old lamp fragments, she began seeking out glass blowers, shademakers and other artisans to fabricate components of her own design.
Now, instead of being able to make only one-of-a-kind lamps from scavenged parts, she produces several collections a year of signed, limited-editions of table lamps, floor lamps and ceiling fixtures, priced at $650 to $3,000.
The Dez Ryan Studio line conforms to no rules of lighting, thumbing its nose at all those boring brass lamps with white shades sitting primly in America's living rooms. The bases are made of hand-blown glass in candy colors.
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