Reng Lighting was created to bring craft and the story of making back in to the lighting world. Reng positions itself a world away from mass production and impersonal industrial management. The brand seeks to celebrate the authentic, the imperfect and all the attributes of artisanal hand production.
The genesis of the brand was a reconnection with my old buying agent in Italy, three years ago. I explained to him my concept and belief that craft and the story of makers was missing in the mass production-oriented lighting world. He assured me that in my twenty year absence, craft and small batch artisanal making was still available in Italy.
The refractive quality of crystal glass led me to Alberto, the owner of century-old company, Argentano Cristallo in Tuscany. Alberto’s small factory of twenty employees produces for the cut crystal market; producing stemware, perfume jars, and cut crystal dining accessories.
I asked Alberto to work with the raw crystal bodies as they emerge from the mould. At this state of the craft cycle the crystal is flawed with bubbles and casting imperfections. Just what I needed for a brand that celebrates the authentic and earthiness of materials.
My glass artisan is the embodiment of artisanal Italian craft. They are handcrafted by an italian man named Stephano. Stephano manages five men in a small workshop south of Florence, Italy. They all work with mouth blown and moulded glass forms. On many occasions, I have Stephano further form the glass once it leaves the mould, adding texture, color and additional shaping.
Working with the second generation at Foza Ceramiche in Bassano del Grappa, Italy, has exposed me to a modern expression of the ancient craft of ceramics.
Brother Lorenzo and Franco operate a ten-man artisanal factory where they shape, form and color ceramic forms to my contemporary aesthetic.
For the forged steel collection, I am working with three workshops; one in Tuscany, a second north of Milan, and a third workshop here in Dallas. These three artisan shops are family-owned, producing one-off or small batch runs.
All three employ the tools of craft, forge and hammer along with mechanics of bending and polishing. Once again, second generation artisans creating a bespoke product unique to my aesthetic.