The Canopy Chandelier
suspended by airline cable, this concrete lighting fixture looks as light as air
Justin Brown is a Jack of all trades. Prior to opening 2Stone Concrete, the Calgary native worked on the rigs, as a tile setter and as a personal trainer. With a serious case of self-described tunnel vision, Brown is a guy who puts 110 per cent into all of his exploits.
After discovering Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) five years ago, he quit his tiling gig to start a design firm that creates a variety of concrete goods, including sinks, countertops, fireplaces, wall panels and furniture. All are unconventional. Brown spends his days working with clients to create show-stopping pieces for their homes, and, by night, his inner mad scientist comes out as he experiments with how far he can push the limits with GFRC. Brown describes the material as almost like fibreglass, but with a different texture.
“No one is going to walk into my studio and say, ‘I want a concrete chandelier,’” says Brown. “Typically, people don’t want to buy what they haven’t seen. That’s sort of a frustrating part of my job because I have to manage expectations, and, a lot of times, customers don’t want to take the same risks that I would like to take.”
For Brown, creation is all about the process. The tinkering, the playing and the experimentation are what he enjoys the most. For his canopy chandelier, he used a fabric mould to create the 90-pound design.
“There’s a chaos to it,” says Brown. “You move something one way to get a certain result and the fabric says ‘no.’ There are only so many things I can control. I have an idea, the fabrics have an idea, and, hopefully, we get to agree on some things.”
The result of this particular experiment is a chandelier that is effortlessly suspended from airline cables. The smooth, white concrete is a soft palette for the illumination from six pot lights.
“A lot of the shock value in my designs is that concrete is generally thought of as always boxy, always heavy, always ugly,” says Brown. “So we change every part of that.”