Spinning metal is as close as you can get to throwing clay, but it's done sideways.
Babette Holland's new line is called Metal Pottery. It's Modern, and has been called 21st century Americana. Babette Holland lights feel somewhat familiar (American pottery of the 40-70's, Russell Wright's production work, and they're named for my favorite potters, some of whom were professors at Alfred). They are finished with wonderful, rich colors (silk or jewel tones) with great depth and yet, these are two elements that you haven't seen together before.
The material is aluminum and it's handspun - think of throwing a pot, sideways, and the motion of spinning resembles a slow rocking dance. Babbette Holland lamp shapes are so complex they can only be made one piece at a time, by hand, and by a master spinner.
The new finishes are tints that Babette Holland has developed, a benefit of four years of glaze chemistry. They're made to have the depth and multi-color look and shimmer of dupioni silk. The color of Babbette Holland lamps radiates from all angles and light affects it so beautifully. The color reminds people of the tumblers in the 50's, so they immediately love them. Then Babette Holland really look at the color and see the difference, and it becomes new and fresh, even rich and luxurious.
To make a Metal Pot (or table lamp, pendant, candlestick, mirror, or bubble vase, all which are spun and use our new finishes) is a long process. It's all done in Brooklyn, NY. Each Babbete Holland piece is made using multiple chucks, as the shapes are complex. The spinning is done in many stages and of course, only one pot can be spun at a time. When the shape is complete, the initial satin finish is put on each shape. Next, the piece is cleaned (degreased) and the fine detail satin finish is laid down and the pot is re-cleaned. Then it's ready to be tinted, which requires many stages, many coats, and a very discerning eye. After days of "setting" the last step is the final assembly.
Babette Holland Design is a husband-wife partnership in design and manufacturing. Tony Brown, Babette Holland and BHD have been in business for eleven years. Their two dogs, Bella and Nanoo, (the President and Vice-President of BHD) all go to work together every day to make beautiful, functional American-made products.