Drop into the New York branch of yoga studio Humming Puppy, browse the watches at Omega’s Melbourne store, or pay a visit to the lobby of the southern hemisphere’s tallest residential building, Australia 108, and you’ll encounter the striking light installations of Christopher Boots.
The Melbourne-based creative and eponymous studio founder describes himself as “an industrial designer and dedicated craftsman who seeks to elevate and transform materials in ways that highlight their natural beauty”. And his materials of choice are predominantly raw minerals such as quartz, a decision that stems from an ongoing fascination with geology and an aesthetic interest in fusing organic forms with an organised architectural structure.
Boots’ atelier is home to some 30 designers and artisans, ranging from glassblowers and coppersmiths to ceramicists and bronze casters. Everything is made by hand and, while there is a range of ready-to-buy lighting – from the limited edition crystalline, smoky quartz Stalactite pendant lamps ($10,200), found in the Raffles hotel in Singapore, to the modular, molecular brass BCAA chandelier ($3,434) – much of the work is bespoke (from $10,000). “We found that working more closely with clients to achieve completely unique lighting outcomes allowed us to really push the limits of material and scale,” explains Boots, whose recent commission for David Hicks Design was presented at the National Gallery of Victoria as part of the prestigious Rigg Design Prize 2018. Combining sharp-edged, geometric links of mirror-polished brass with amorphous bulbs of handblown glass and sparkling crystal spheres, the statement light sculpture spanned the entire ceiling.
Current projects include two fixtures measuring more than 6m each for private homes in the US and an exhibition called Trove, which opened at the Milan Furniture Fair this week and shows Boots’ quartz and brass Khrysalis design (from $8,800). “We have no set criteria for accepting commissions,” says Boots, “but a project has to excite us.” And what excites them is turning lighting concepts into visionary, exquisitely crafted works of art.