Mid Century Modern Decor

Timeless Iconic Mid Century Decor: George Nelson Bubble Lamp

Designed by George Nelson in 1952

What says mid century modern more than a Bubble Lamp? These elegant fixtures elevate the look of any space.

Nelson was originally inspired by a set of silk-covered Swedish hanging lamps that he wanted to acquire for his office, but he found the price to be prohibitive. An ingenious and resourceful designer, he went on to create the first set of Nelson Bubble Lamps using a translucent white plastic spray, a technique developed by the U.S. military at the time.

Nelson drew from elemental, organic shapes in making variations like the Apple Bubble Pendant, the Pear Wall Sconce, the Lotus Table Lamp, and the Saucer Pendant Lamp, among others.

The first prototype of the lamp was designed in a matter of two days. Nelson created the spherical frame with perforated rings that were inserted with steel wires, a construction that retained its shape under tension, required minimum tools, and no welding costs. It was then sprayed with the resinous lacquer to form a fibrous web, and a final coat of plastic was applied, creating a smooth, translucent skin. And hence Nelson had introduced a beautiful, timeless lighting fixture to consumers at modest prices.

Herman Miller was the original manufacturer of the George Nelson Bubble Lamp and took over the manufacturing again in 2016. When I recently ordered my Bubble Lamp it arrived with a Herman Miller Certificate of Authenticity, giving it an extra element of modern cool.

Looking to buy or sell a mid century modern home in the greater Asheville area? Give me a call at 828-545-2712 or email me at carol@mymosaicrealty.com

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