Archive for the ‘Our Brands’ 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!


Daddy, how did I get my name?

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

We’re expecting our first child in mid-April, and we’re thrilled as pomeranians with new Hello Kitty chew toys. But six weeks until the bun is baked, and we’re struggling with names.

Our shortlist consists of exactly ONE English name, and ONE character for his Chinese name. Oh, yeah, it’s a boy!

Some people have no such problems. Angelina and Brad are great at naming kids: Maddox, Pax Thien, Shiloh, Zahara! But they probably have eight full-time staff coming up with them.

So, we’re enlisting the help of you, our friends, family, and readers to help us choose a name. Imagine, you get to name our son! But even better than bragging rights, if the name you propose is picked, we’ll give you a brand-new, Blu Dot Couchoid Studio sofa. (Download a pdf spec sheet here.)

Couchoid Studio Sofa

(If this sounds like some thinly-veiled publicity stunt for our store, that exploits an innocent, unborn child, I say to you, “Yes, it is!” But at least it’s better than naming your child “Brooklyn” just to get free pizza.)

Couchoid in-situ

Seriously, though, we just figured it might be nice if others could share in our big event. You know, the wisdom of crowds and all that. So here goes:

Our surname is “Quah” (“柯” in Mandarin). The one English name we like is “Kyle”.

The Chinese name we like is a lot “King” (“敬”) which means “respect”. Preferably, it would be used as the second name, i.e. “Quah King Something.” “King Kong” has already been thought of and rejected, thank you very much.

We also like “Khai” (“凯”) which means “triumphant” or “victorious.” But the problem with “Kyle Quah King Khai” is the alliteration—it’s just too much of a tongue-twister.

Some guidelines:

  • You can offer a Chinese name, or an alternate English name, or both.
  • One to five carefully considered names is plenty. We prefer not having to read a list of 300 names lifted off the internet.
  • We don’t mind if the name’s uncommon. We’re not keen on Michael, John, David or Andrew. (Apologies to readers with those names.) I personally like cowboy names. Cody, Jake, Wyatt, but the wife will have none of it, as according to her, they’re “too American.”
  • Chinese names can be in any dialect. Hokkien if at all possible, otherwise we’re not too fussed about it. The Chinese character should, naturally, be something meaningful.

Send your entry to:pomelobaby (at) gmail (dot) com

Good luck!

Raymond & Karina

The fine print: Contest closing date: 15 April 2008. Please include your name and a contact number in your entry. Prize eligible for readers residing in Singapore only, sorry. Sofa is not exchangeable for cash, currypuffs or anything else. If more than one person suggests the same name, the first person who emailed it in, wins. In the event that we go with a completely different name than any suggested, we will award the sofa to one person chosen at random. Winner will be announced on this blog soon after the delivery date.

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,, DWR, AIGA. Photo links to Flickr users Sweet Juniper, Hot Funk, Nailmaker.