A Q&A with Hubbardton Forge's Design Director David Kitts
What are the tenets of Hubbardton Forge design?
Our design team is made up of an eclectic mix of backgrounds from engineering, graphic design and architecture to sculpture, jewelry and metalsmithing. Although we may have very different backgrounds and design styles we follow a simple guiding principle that has been in place at Hubbardton Forge for over forty years: design evolution without forgetting our heritage.
Why is it important that Hubbardton Forge products are handmade?
Our goal is to deliver heirloom quality, unique, timeless designs. We do not build to inventory. Each piece is handmade for you. From design, through engineering, production and customer service, there is someone at every step of the process who truly cares about the customer.
What does it mean to be a "modern blacksmith" (i.e. blending a traditional technique with today's taste, technology, etc.)
Being a "modern blacksmith" means finding a balance between traditional and contemporary designs while utilizing both old-world blacksmithing techniques and modern technology. It means being innovative. Innovation does not stop past the design and engineering process. For us to be successful, innovation needs to be present at every corner of the company.
What does a Hubbardton Forge fixture go through, from design to production?
Having design, engineering, production, sales and a highly trained prototype team, all under one roof in Vermont makes the design process here very special. The designer can come up with an idea and have a “metal sketch” within the day. By the next morning he or she can have feedback from production, engineering and sales and then it can be back for revisions by that afternoon. It is not uncommon to have five or more metal sketches/prototypes for any given design. This process allows us to make sure that the fixture is just right. It would not be the same if our factory was overseas.
What's next for Hubbardton Forge designs? Expect some beautiful new designs that combine the best attributes of LED technology with truly transitional elements that Hubbardton Forge has become known for.
40 Years of American Craft
Hubbardton Forge celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, they tasked their 3 designers with creating a collection of table lamps—no guidelines, rules or limitations, just created to combine their design personality with the Hubbardton Forge aesthetic. Here's what they came up with:
Erlenmeyer Table Lamp"I wanted to design a lamp that mirrored my own fascination with things that are industrial and a little whimsical. The Erlenmeyer Collection is one of my favorites and was lacking a table lamp." –Designer David KittsSHOP NOW
Beechwood Table Lamp"My…design reflects my love of trees...[and] is of course also indicative of my love of simple sensual forms, strongly stated with elegant lines and dynamic surfaces."
– Designer David Martin
Manifold Table Lamp"I find one of the most fascinating aspects of making things by hand to be when the process goes "awry"...The composition of the Manifold is a nod to that idea".
–Designer Zach Pyle