Recently, our showroom got a little upgrade in the form of custom lighting fixtures from Chris Poehlmann of CP Lighting. The chandelier and pendants lamps that now sit as the centerpiece of our lobby and down through the hallway are reminiscent of PickUpSticks and now brighten up our space.
We had the chance to visit Chris in his West Philly workshop which also seems to double as a mid-century modern museum full of one off pieces, all which come with a great story behind them. During this visit we also got to capture Chris in one of the most unique suits we have created with this textured, sort of scale like patterned, peak lapel suit. Read on to learn more about how he got into the world of lighting and his signature pieces that have put his name in the design history books.
CMMP: What kind of things have influenced your work to become what it is today?
CP: I discovered my love for design in the mid80s while taking a break from my pre-med psychology studies to go to photography school for a semester in Salzburg Austria. Contemporary European design changed my life and I’ve never looked back.
CMMP: How did you get started in lighting design?
CP: By the mid 90s, I was doing group and solo shows of my art furniture across the country and began to exhibit at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in NYC. For 27 consecutive years, that was my main tool of exposure and brand building, the ICFF really formed my boutique business into what it has become today. I still make furniture, but decorative lighting is what the market at the time was begging for and i found my hand made fixtures to be in the right place at the right time. CP Lighting is now a brand that has had world wide exposure and occupies a unique place between craft and production, art and design.
CMMP: Is there any projects that stand out to you among your vast collection of work?
CP: I am quite proud to be considered an industry leader in sustainable design, post-consumer materials have been a large part of our products from the get go, and more significantly being on the leading edge of what is now a design staple: Rustic Modernism. My organic newGROWTH series has been published across the globe and subtly or overtly influenced countless other designs. That is super gratifying and it’s a wonderful thing for me to have a product line that is constantly evolving — it’s a body of work that allows me to directly collaborate with clients and invent new solutions to meet their specific needs. The chandelier and pendants lamps I created for Commonwealth Proper in fact are a very loose spin off from that newGROWTH series, more like PickUpSticks than branches, nonetheless an idea sparked from another idea.
CMMP: What does the future hold for CP Lighting, anything new coming down the line?
CP: It’s that progress of imagination to paper to product that keeps me engaged and moving forward.