Tom Dixon’s BEAT ligting
Tom discusses the Beat lights, the inspiration, the manufacturing process and the challenges faced when designing these extraordinary brass lights.
Many of our extraordinary objects are crafted by artisans using traditional techniques and local expertise. Bearing the mark of its maker, Beat is a celebration of the beauty of things created by hand.
In 2004 Tom was involved in an initiative in Jaipur to create alternative possibilities for the rapidly vanishing craftsmen and their skills. The Beat light was instigated during a NGO development project undertaken by the British Council and Tom Dixon in 2002, in an effort to maintain and develop the skills of street metalworkers of Rajasthan. The underlying proportions and techniques of traditional brass work used to create water vessels and cooking pots were used to create new objects of sculptural simplicity with a rethought functionality.
Each Beat light is now made from hand spun brass sculpted by artisan craftsmen in Northern India. Hand-raised, welded, beaten and finally skimmed on a lathe, they retain hammer marks from their forming. Beat’s polished interiors were originally designed to be hygienic and clean for use, now the painstakingly beaten interior is re-purposed to refract and reflect a soft and warm luminosity. The creation of the beat light is part of an ancient process that takes four days to complete.
Watch the film on Tom Dixon’s youtube channel.