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That Time I Designed a Light Fixture with Heather Rosenman

First published October 24, 2017

One of the things that I will NEVER tire of as an interior designer is getting to collaborate with super talented makers. I follow these artists because I recognize something in their work that rings true to my work. Yet I can never imagine myself getting even close to acceptable in the exact niche they have focused on - whether that's furniture making, macrame weaving, ceramics, photography, and more. I have ideas about what I would like to see, but I can't actually make it. When the opportunity strikes, I take it to contact the makers I admire and see if they want to get in on the action. Enter the magnificent Heather Rosenman.

In the Pacific Palisades project we wanted to hang vintage style ceramic pendants over the kitchen island. Easier said than done. I knew of Heather Levine's pendants but there were none available at the time in her webshop. We had looked at Kat & Roger's lighting for Individual Medley Store, but those were sold out by the time we were ready to purchase a set of 3. After banging our heads against the wall, we decided it was worth looking into the idea of making custom lighting pendants. I contact a short list of ceramicists I liked in Los Angeles to gauge their interest. To my surprise, Heather responded with enthusiasm and modesty. I couldn't believe she wanted to work on this with us since to me, she is a ceramic celebrity. Her body of work is incredible. We met at the site for her to get a sense of the clients and the space and realized how much we adore each other. A NY transplant who is gracious and sweet beyond words. 

After the initial meeting, she worked out some ideas and sketches for how to transform her Scribe series bowls into a pendant lamp. I was very impressed with the amount of thought she put into this.

Then some volleying back and forth to define the form and functionality better, she finalized the design with this approved sketch. As you can see, we added a cone top to the bowl to hide the lighting cord mechanism better. We decided on two white pendants over the island and one black for over the sink to make it more interesting. Also, the clients have twin girls and a son and we thought these could be handed down to their children in time and become family heirlooms. Each girl would get a white pendant, the son would get the black. 

She emailed me progress shots of the pieces in her studio. I hope you find learning about the process just as interesting as seeing the finished products installed.

Getting the electrical part of the fixture to work out like we wanted it to was trickier than we imagined. In the end, it all was configured correctly but we had some bleak moments. I believe Heather figured out what she would do differently the next time and I was thrilled my project got to be her launch site/testing ground for future lighting fixtures. Because the world deserves more Heather Rosenman lighting.


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