The Butterfly pendant mimics/echoes the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings thanks to the unique handcrafted steam bending technique that Tom uses. Always inspired by the shapes of the nature, the starting point is a hand drawn sketch that evolves into a 3D model. With its many wooden curves, the lamp plays with light and shadows, creating a beautiful sight in the room. The Butterfly pendant is handmade in Cornwall lamp is available in sustainably sourced oak or walnut.
Tom uses steam bending throughout his design pieces. It is a traditional technique that consumes a low level of energy, minimises wastage, and promotes a sustainable production process. He discovered steam bending during his studies and since developed his own methodology to be able to create any shapes and curves. As a result, Tom’s creativity is never constrained.
Tom’s bag technique allows him to create complex 3D shapes. Traditional steam bending uses a chamber of steam in which the wood is first placed and then removed into the air to be bent. This process limits the manipulation of the wood as time is very restricted by the cooling of the air. So Tom uses a bag filled with steam that he places on certain portions of the wood. This way, he can create bends in the wood as the wood is being steamed. As a result, the design pieces can be crafted much more precisely. The wood is bent with a jig system combining clamps, composite straps and scaffolding bars to provide enough space for the whole process and avoid the limitation of shaping on a bench.
This specific technique is time-consuming and requires full dedication. Each piece is individually shaped by hand which makes Tom’s contemporary designs unique.
D 68cm x H 52cm
Sustainably sourced oak (medium wood) or walnut (dark wood).
To be used with an energy saving 25 watt bulb (equivalent to a 125 watt standard bulb). We recommend using the award-winning Plumen 001 low energy light bulb with its twisted and curled shape to compliment the Skipper Pendant.
Also supplied: a 2m Satin Nickel Ceiling Assembly Kit (E27/E26).
“I look at shapes within nature to get inspired, it can be a twisted branch or knots in a tree that influence the object I’m making.”
Designer Focus | Tom Raffield
Tom is a rising British designer based in Helston, Cornwall. His designs combine traditional craft skills with a definite contemporary style. All design pieces are handmade and respectful of the nature that inspires their curves.