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Object of Desire: Emma Kohlmann’s Nature-Inspired Lamp Collection from Slow Roads

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Object of Desire: Emma Kohlmann’s Nature-Inspired Lamp Collection from Slow Roads

March 22, 2024

I’ve known artist Emma Kohlmann since she was a kid and am a huge fan. I’m not the only one. Her beguiling, dreamlike paintings were discovered on Instagram 10 years ago when she was in her mid-twenties and she now has an impressive CV of shows near and far (she’s represented in NYC by Silke Lindner and in Copenhagen by V1 Gallery).

Emma began by self-publishing zines and continues to make printed matter (with her sister, Charlotte Kohlmann, she runs Mundus Press in Northampton, Massachusetts, where the two live). Emma also frequently collaborates with other creatives—with Simone Bodmer-Turner, for instance, she produced a sell-out line of vases, and she’s currently designing tableware for a major Danish brand. Emma Kohlmann Watercolors, a large-format monograph on her work of the past decade, is being published any minute by Anthology.

Today, we’re featuring her latest collab: the Emma Kohlman Lamp Collection for online art and design shop Slow Roads. The brand’s founders, Catherine Costanza and Evan Dublin, supplied Emma with custom canvas lampshades to paint. They sized the shades to pair with vintage tree root lamps that they ferreted out on road trips in Upstate New York, Seattle, and California, and carefully restored. The sculptural collection debuted on the Slow Roads site on March 11, with prices starting at $1,450. Take a look. There are only six lamps (and three have already been sold), so speak up if you want one.

Photography courtesy of Slow Roads (@slow_roads).

Here are the just-finished shades in Emma&#8\2\17;s studio, in a former paper mill in Western Massachusetts. Emma grew up in Riverdale, in the Bronx; she studied at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. and has lived in the area ever since (but has friends and toeholds around the world).
Above: Here are the just-finished shades in Emma’s studio, in a former paper mill in Western Massachusetts. Emma grew up in Riverdale, in the Bronx; she studied at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. and has lived in the area ever since (but has friends and toeholds around the world).

Emma typically works spontaneously without advance sketches, and has developed her own benevolent universe of reclining figures, floating faces, plants, and animals. She painted the lampshades with watered-down acrylics; each is one-of-a-kind and displays evolving patterns and scenes.

Catherine and Evan of Slow Roads are artist-designers themselves, based in Rochester, NY; their shop showcases contemporary and vintage housewares, all rooted in nature. Like the shades, each of the lamp bases is a one-off. This one is Lamp 4.
Above: Catherine and Evan of Slow Roads are artist-designers themselves, based in Rochester, NY; their shop showcases contemporary and vintage housewares, all rooted in nature. Like the shades, each of the lamp bases is a one-off. This one is Lamp 4.
Lamp 3 (left) and Lamp \1 both have burl wood bases from the \1960s or &#8\2\17;70s.
Above: Lamp 3 (left) and Lamp 1 both have burl wood bases from the 1960s or ’70s.
Another view of Lamp 3.
Above: Another view of Lamp 3.
Lamp \2 is also known as the Lucky Lamp. Catherine and Evan restored the bases as needed—&#8\2\2\1;we only fix the elements that require updating, so that the vintage qualities remain,&#8\2\2\1; says Evan—and rewired each using cloth-covered cords.
Above: Lamp 2 is also known as the Lucky Lamp. Catherine and Evan restored the bases as needed—”we only fix the elements that require updating, so that the vintage qualities remain,” says Evan—and rewired each using cloth-covered cords.
Another view of Lamp \2.
Above: Another view of Lamp 2.
Signing her work. Follow Emma on Instagram @meiow_mix.
Above: Signing her work. Follow Emma on Instagram @meiow_mix.

For more art put to practical use at home, take a look at:

N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published on Remodelista on March 11, 2024.

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