A chance to lighten up and show your metal

Thing of beauty makers of stuff cone lights

Makers of Stuff (MoS) is a "tiny design studio, trying to make things that are fun, irreverent, that change the way people use things and how they put them in their houses," says "Ms Maker", Antonia Morgado. 

In the middle of 2012, says Morgado, MoS started working with a metal spinner who helped them to create a range of cone pendant lights — luminous accessories designed to dangle from a ceiling singly, or in clusters. 

"We worked out the shape and size we liked and made it a bit narrower at the top," Morgado explains. 

"We tried it in aluminium, but it didn't work. We went back to our raw materials," she says, eventually settling on "uncoloured mild steel, copper and brass, which we finish in our studio. We brush up everything ourselves — I couldn't find a supplier willing to polish up our lights." 

Morgado says she is "obsessed with colour" and tried powder-coating early models of the cone lights with poor results. 

While working on another job, which included making and installing brightly coloured metal chairs in a library space, she found a new paint supplier that offered a more suitable product, and a palette that extended beyond the "standard industrial colours". 

MoS has now launched a new range of cone lights in 12 different colours from orange, pink and purple, to two shades each of green and grey, and can produce custom hues for clients on request (although these would come at a slight premium). 

The existing colour menu is designed to be mixed, matched and played with, to create a "personal connection between the product and the customer who buys it", whether it accents walls or furniture, or creates a circle of fun in a kid's room.  

Each 20cm "bell-like" light is made from mild steel and then completely powder coated inside and out, which adds a further dimension to the colour play when the lights are switched on, creating illuminated spots of pure colour on the interior surface as the exterior appears to darken slightly. 

"It's the same even with white," Morgado says. "When you hang a white light, the exterior will never look pure because of surrounding light, gradients and reflected colours. 

"But, when you switch the light on, you get an almost true colour [inside]." 

Even this can be varied, using different light bulbs. "You can put any bulb in [the cone light]," says Morgado. 

"The colour of the light bulb you choose will also have an impact on the colour of the interior."  

Cone Pendants in colour from R900 each to R2 800 for a set of four from Makers of Stuff, mosproducts.co.za 

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Nechama Brodie
Dr Nechama Brodie has worked as a multi-media journalist, editor, producer and publisher for nearly twenty-five years. During this time she has dodged the secret police in Burma, explored tunnels underneath Johannesburg, gotten dusty at rock festivals, and reported on the myth of ‘white genocide’ in South Africa.

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