By Nora Donovan
The Bright Angle, an Asheville-based pottery and design studio, debuted its new collection of translucent porcelain lighting on August 27. The showcase, called a “Luminary Craft Event,” was a collaboration between Bright Angle founder Nick Moen and Lexington Glassworks, a glassblowing studio and gallery.
Moen is not a big fan of exposed light bulbs, which is a current trend. His new collection is a response, as “the porcelain’s light shades diffuse light to provide a warm glow at eye level while the opening at the bottom produces direct white light on active spaces,” he said. “We are changing the face of contemporary ceramics.”
The event took place in the Cloud Room, a gathering space located inside Wedge at Foundation. Moen has a history with the brewery. He unintentionally moved to Asheville when his van broke down in the Wedge Brewing parking lot years ago (at the brewery’s first location on Riverside Drive). He then honed his love for design at the Penland School of Craft. Displaying this new exhibition at the Wedge at Foundation has really made it a “full-circle moment” for him, he said.
The event featured local videographers Matt Wegleitner and Micah Yaple, who premiered their first video performance as Aerial Asheville. Drawings by Daniel Garver, collage art by Jamie Karolich, and prints from BJ Lumbaugh were also included.
Moen asked local musician Jonathan Scales to bring his steel drums. “He thought that some of my music, as a soloist, could … set the tone,” Scales said. The porcelain lighting was equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allowed for the pieces to play in time with the music.
“I’ve been in this industry for 15 years and can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like this before. While I have seen a few other translucent porcelain lights, they are not made with the same mastery of material and proportional design sense.” The collection took Moen six years to complete.
The event was produced by Jefferson Ellison, who is also based in Asheville. “Moen really wanted to show the lighting in its natural habitat: in use, surrounded by great vibes, good people and intentional design,” Ellison said. “Celebrating local artists who have a connection to the community and creating custom lighting pieces for the event is so authentic to the brand because it represents the core of what The Bright Angle offers, [which is] craftsmanship. It’s great for Asheville but it’s also just great for the design community as a whole.”