The 344 LAMP
When Al Quatrrocchi and his partner Jeff Smith of Torpedo Design invited me to create a lamp for a charity event called “Enlightened,” I said, “Great, I’ll do it.” But then the time came to actually complete the project, and I found myself totally overloaded with other work. Just as always. And yet I never see it coming. It’s a character flaw. Or just stupidity. But I am a man of my word, so I had to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
As things were, I didn’t have the time I needed to do a new illustration, which was the key element I had envisioned for the lamp shade. Pressed for time, I rummaged through the 344 archives for inspiration and a suitable starting point. I stumbled across an illustration I had created for the endpaper flaps of the 12 Bigger Monsters portfolio case. I had abandoned it a few months earlier, because it had taken hours and hours, and doing that much stippling across two more flaps was just too crazy, even for me. Looking at it again, I saw that there was a shape that could be flipped top to bottom and left to right to form an interesting overall pattern.
Three lamps were produced, making this a very limited edition product. One was sold at the event raising money for Inner-City Arts, and the two remaining were given to me. I have one in the studio, and gave one to my parents as a gift. I’d really like to do more products at some point, but that’s a whole other business endeavor. It’s too easy to get seduced by just designing an object. It’s something entirely different thing to manufacture and market them. For now, this lamp stands alone, shining its amber glow on my living room.