From Pendant Necklaces to Pendant Lighting: Hubbardton Forge Designer Ori Goldberg
Fans of Hubbardton Forge lighting often point out the sculptural elements of our pieces. In recent years, they’ve mentioned how some pieces look like they could be fine jewelry. Designer Ori Goldberg plays a large part in that.
Ori’s career in design started back in college, but it was a long journey both literally and figuratively to where he is today. He grew up and went to college in Israel where he pursued a degree in architecture. After a year and a half however, he realized the passion wasn’t there, so he worked as a blacksmith for a year. The experience was transformative. Ori is modest about the work, but it included a job of restoring a door dating back roughly two centuries, that was found during a dig in Israel. “It was a wooden door and we made the rivets to restore it. There were hundreds of them,” he says.
He returned to college to study practical engineering. After college he traveled abroad for a year, before returning to Israel to study under a jeweler. “He was very talented, but in a technical sense. He wasn’t so focused on the art of it,” he says.
After the experience with the blacksmith and jeweler, he was hooked on working with his hands to create small-scale works of art, so he set out on his own. “I created jewelry on and off for 15 or 16 years with the last eight being more serious. I averaged probably 12 or 14 big shows annually.” He loved the creative aspects and didn’t feel any need for a career change. Around this time though, Hubbardton Forge Design Director, David Kitts invited him to take a tour.
“I was curious to see how it would be, but was sure I would keep doing what I was doing,” Ori recalls. Surprising himself, he liked what he saw and joined the Forge as the newest design team member shortly after. Like his previous journeys, it was a learning experience. “I had to get used to working as part of a team and to passing a design vision over to engineering and accepting that practical aspects meant the design might differ from my vision,” he says.
One of Ori’s first designs, the Amulet, was based on a jewelry pendant he designed about six months before joining the Forge. Another, the Switchback, speaks to his interest in introducing the element of surprise. “I had a rough idea, but was struggling with the process. I changed the initial idea to create a light that’s sitting flat, but has a twist in the center as the surprise element. I think it’s very clean with a beautiful flow,” he says.
For the Collage, another of Ori’s designs, he drew from a different source of inspiration. “When I observe different types of landscapes, natural or urban, small or large, I find myself drawn to complex perspectives and layering,” he says. “This is where the light does its magic. The light hides and emerges. Even during the design process, there was that surprise,” he says.
His most recent piece, the Umbra Outdoor Pendant, gives a nod to his other passion – soccer (football to the rest of the world). “I’ve played ever since I was a kid. I find a close relationship between my love of soccer and artistic design,” he explains. “Both include collaboration from different team players combined with a good amount of creativity to find a path to the goal.”
Ori is currently putting the finishing touches on pieces for 2017. He hints that they’ll reflect his style, “Contemporary, but not clean contemporary, some elements of Art Nouveau included. It’s contemporary with spice.”
Follow Ori’s Design from Inspiration to Insallation:
With a history spanning more than four decades, Hubbardton Forge has built a reputation in the lighting industry and among designers and consumers for high quality and handcrafted artistry. With a team driven by design, the newest designs being created – from idea to finished fixture – are winning awards and accolades, but more importantly, they’re finding a place in the finely designed spaces of our customers. Best of all? All the magic happens under one roof in the Green Mountains of Vermont.