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PAST PRESENCE is a collaboration between design studio founders Jean and Oliver Pelle of PELLE, and antique dealer and jewelry designer Russell Whitmore of Erie Basin. The collection brings together PELLE’s modern design sensibilities with Whitmore’s specialization in jewelry fabrication and historical design.
With the goal of creating a collection that spans beyond the contemporary context, PELLE and Erie Basin layered decorative elements onto modern forms, combining romantic nostalgia with clean lines. The collection was conceived with intentional playfulness, and each piece experiments with traditional methods and rarely-used materials, creating provocative juxtapositions of weight, austerity, and scale.
PAST PRESENCE is a collection of three new unusual pieces that resulted from the collaboration.
Dark Moon is a wall-mounted metal and stone light fixture that mimics a form popular in Arts & Crafts jewelry. The sconce’s half-moon is crafted from solid brass that has undergone an aging process of hand-applied jade patina, creating subtle coloration ranging from deep blue-green to carbon black. Below, twelve stone segments dangle from cast brass hardware, forming a freely moving fringe. Each segment is cut from Serpentine marble, whose hues echo the patina of the jade finish above. Light emits from the silhouette of the half moon, diffusing through the stone fringe and highlighting the resonant textures of this illuminated sculpture.
The Fin Chair is a mahogany and blackened steel chair that features a broad “fin” as its central detail. The structural frame, seat and silhouette of the chair offer an unusual combination of elements, joining the austerity of a simple steel frame with the warmth of premium wood. The seat is made of a solid mahogany that is polished and symmetrically joined, the grain of the wood drawing the eye towards the anchoring fin—crafted from matching mahogany. Juxtaposing this rich material with a minimal frame, the Fin Chair brings singularity to a functional design.
Silver Veil is a large table lamp that features a beaded fringe detail on an angular solid body. The lamp base is plated in pure polished silver, creating a highly reflective surface that allows the lamp to effectively dematerialize. A curtain of sterling-silver beaded chains encloses two sides of the lamp, veiling the light source and a dimmer dial set with Maw Sit Sit – a rare jade-like gemstone. The dial’s placement invites you to touch the beaded curtain as you turn the lamp on and off, creating a mesmerizing swinging motion.