I’m gordon. This is my story.
After twenty-plus years in mechanical engineering and fabricating kinetic public sculptures — which grew out of my passion for clean, precise industrial design — I started to tinker with luminary design.
When I got out of college in the mid 1990s I had a profound experience that led to a career building commissioned atrium and landscape sculpture. As fate would have it, I was invited by the caretaker of Alexander Calder’s property in Connecticut to stay the night after a sudden, severe ice storm and blizzard. I stayed the night in the caretaker’s cottage with a few other revelers and spent time walking around Calder’s sculptures — knee deep in a glorious and surreal winter scene.
I was inspired. I built a few sculptures and mobiles with wire and pliers. From that a serious passion for building mobiles was born. Years later, after moving to Vermont and working for a blacksmith, I received a commission from a corporate art consultant to build a large interior mobile. This was a turning point. I could turn my passion into a profession. Rather than go to an art school I invested in tools and materials. I had already worked for Bruce MacDonald’s BRM Design & Metalworks in Burlington, Vermont, where I learned principles of fabrication and developed a taste for the craft industry. After that first, large commission I set out as an artist competing for kinetic sculpture projects nationally.
In the twenty years that followed I grew to understand the importance of architectural relationships. Thoughtful proportion and balance became fundamental to my process. And as my sculptural work grew and evolved, I found myself thinking more and more about lighting design as a related niche. Over time the studio became cluttered with conceptual light fixtures made out of castaway, unconventional forms, competing for space with mobiles.
I am grateful to two close friends who were catalysts for creating my line of signature “articulated” lighting. Mateo Kehler encouraged me to design a light and bring it to The Architectural Digest Show in NYC. And Devin Burgess, the glass blower behind Borealis Studios, invited me to share the booth he and his wife Jerilyn Virden had at the AD Shows in 2016 and 2017. (That booth was an award winner in 2017.) Not coincidentally, Devin makes the hand-blown glass shades that add so much character to my lighting fixtures. I am proud to source most of my parts in the U.S. and Vermont — the state I love.
And now — suddenly it seems — I am designing and building custom lighting fixtures from my studio in northern Vermont and sharing my journey with you.