Australian designer James Walsh explored ways to use traditional materials, like Victorian Bluestone, in new, contemporary ways when designing the Igneous Light. The stone’s rich history finds it permeating the architecture and surroundings of Melbourne and beyond, as it’s long been a versatile material. While doing research, Walsh discovered that the natural stone called basalt, or locally known as Victorian Bluestone, covered the city’s roads and had been quarried for over 160 years from the area.
After his research, bluestone seemed like the logical option for creating a design that was quintessentially Melbourne. With that, he reached out to Melbourne quarries to find waste material, which has been a growing problem in recent years. Walsh reached out to fellow designer Ash Allen for help in developing the new project. He happened to have plenty of experience – and a kiln – so they utilized the waste basalt powder from a local bluestone producer and experimented with casting methods.
After many months of trying various options, they figured out a method that would work – sifting dried bluestone powder into an open space within the casting sand and firing it in the kiln for over two days. The process results in a perfectly imperfect, textured disk that’s lit up with a gold-crown mirrored bulb.
The light creates a bright ring on the outer edge of the sconce giving it a more dramatic effect. The Igneous Light is available in two sizes – 260 and 385mm diameters – and comes with a knurled brass lamp holder and wall bracket.
Photos by Reuben Gates.