Archive for the ‘Modernica’ Category

Cleaning a George Nelson Bubble Lamp

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Looking at the search queries in our blog stats, it seems that there are many people out there searching for cleaning instructions for the George Nelson Bubble Lamps, so here’s how.

 

 

The ones in our home/showroom don’t require much cleaning at all, to be perfectly honest, but you can give them an occasional dusting just to keep them radiant.

Because they’re made of a polymer, and not of paper, you can use a lightly damp cloth and mild soap to clean them, but we’ve found that those static cling sheets used for Kao Magic Mops  (“Swiffer” sheets for US readers) do a fantastic job.

If you can’t get your hands on those, a gentle vacuuming using the LOWEST setting and the brush attachment works too, especially if your lamps are hanging slightly out of reach.

Modernica has the care instructions buried in their website, but you can download it here.

Happy cleaning!

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George Nelson Bubble Lamps

Sunday, 12 August 2007

George Nelson (1908-1986) was, together with Charles and Ray Eames, one of the founders of American modernism. His best-known furniture designs have all become icons of mid-century modernism, and include the marshmallow sofa, coconut chair, and platform bench. He also created these boldly graphic wall clocks for Howard Miller:

George Nelson Ball Clock

George Nelson Sunflower Clock

Although he was trained as an architect at Yale, he became extremely well known as a graphic designer, an industrial designer, an interior designer and exhibition designer. He was the design director at Herman Miller from 1945–1972, where he also pioneered the practice of corporate image management, graphic programs and signage.

George Nelson Herman Miller Poster

In 1947, George also created the “Bubble Lamp” line. Inspired by a self webbing material used to mothball ships in New York, he was convinced it would be perfect for lighting. He made a metal frame, tracked down the source of the webbing material and by the next day he created a big glowing sphere and the Bubble Lamp was born.

Bubble Lamp Group
George Nelson Bubble Lamps made by Modernica. Available at Pomelo Home in Singapore.

Here’s a description from a 1968 Howard Miller sales brochure, that reads like it could’ve been written yesterday:

“Airy, lighthearted “Bubbles” designed by George Nelson, make lamps and lighting fixtures that are so effective and functional in today’s contemporary settings. Their pleasing shapes are fashioned in sturdy, light-weight steel and a special translucent white plastic. The “Bubbles” will always cast a soft, even light.”

Howard Miller manufactured the lamps from the early 1950s until the line was discontinued in 1979. But Modernica has faithfully re-issued the Bubble Lamps to the exact specifications using the original Howard Miller factory tooling.

The Nelson Bubble Lamps are now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA).

George Nelson Bubble Lamps

The George Nelson Bubble Lamp collection comes in Saucer, Ball, Cigar, Apple, Pear, Criss Cross, Lantern and Propeller shapes, and includes table lamps, pendant lamps, sconce lamps and floor lamps. Materials: Steel skeleton, self-webbing soft plastic polymer. Made in USA.

(George never actually named the different lamp designs and they were simply given numbers by Howard Miller. A large Saucer lamp was simply sold under “Bubble Lamp H-727,” a large Ball lamp was sold under “Bubble Lamp H-725”.)

Sources: Wikipedia, Georgenelson.org, DWR, AIGA. Photo links to Flickr users Sweet Juniper, Hot Funk, Nailmaker.