Introducing the Presidio Collection by Hart Howerton

Designed by global interdisciplinary architectural firm, Hart Howerton, the Presidio Collection includes three distinct product lines and is a tribute to heritage, bringing together contemporary style, historic inspiration and hand crafted, organic materials.

Remains and Hart Howerton have a long history of working together on commercial and residential projects around the world and were inspired to create the capsule lighting collection following a collaboration in Austin, Texas.

Hart Howerton Partner, David Rau, who was the lead designer on the project commented: “Our goal was to tell a story inspired by Arcadian design: natural, organic, local, handmade, fair and just. Nothing synthetic, very little machining, simple, efficient, resilient. This new line of fixtures – with its indeterminate sense of history and an earthly attraction – was the happy result.”

Presidio

The eponymous Presidio line centers around a modern take on the primitive form of a miners’ lantern, with a solid cast brass base bound to a swooping hand-formed reflector that curves around a frosted glass lens. It is a heady mix of elegance and industrial strength, where light interplays across organic materials and nods to the elemental warmth of an open flame.

The line includes a table lamp, sconce and two sizes of chandelier. The table lantern features a Remains’ solid brass “ingot” toggle switch. The Presidio Chandelier continues in the same style with two sizes featuring either nine or 15 lantern bodies on a rolled iron ring, creating a commanding presence suitable for grand-scale spaces ranging from urban lofts to rustic lodges.

Sutro

The Sutro Lantern is versatile in style, positioning, and use; equally home on sideboard, on the floor, or on an end-table. Made of a solid cast brass base, bound to a swooping reflector with an integrated handle that curves around a frosted glass lens. The hand-formed brass sheet is connected with copper rivets and the lantern features Remains’ brass “ingot” toggle switch. The Sutro Pier is a new form of exterior lantern: for a stone wall, flanking a stairway, on a gate pier.

Union

The Union Pendant is named after Union Square, in reference to Hart Howerton and Remains Lighting’s shared New York heritage. It is a statement pendant light, again made from solid cast brass and hand-formed brass sheet and blown frosted glass lens on the two lamps.

Each fixture is available in a choice of finishes including dark iron, weathered brass, polished nickel or polished brass.  VIEW THEM ALL

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Pairing Design & Technique Vol 3 Metal Spinning

Metal spinning is a niche metal-forming technique that lives at the juncture between medieval craft and high-tech aerospace applications. Spinnings play a lead role in some of our most beautiful products, but choosing the right application is both complex and crucial.

Spinning, by and large, produces metal objects that are axially symmetrical, rounded, and hollow. Unlike solid turnings, where one takes a piece of solid metal and carves away material to reveal something inside, spinnings appear to be like solid, lathe-turned objects, but are actually hollow formed sheet metal. The process is performed on a specialized, robust lathe and starts with a round, metal disc pressed against a solid pattern, called a mandrel. The lathe is then switched on and the tool and metal sheet spin together rapidly. Force is applied to the spinning blank using polished-nose tools. The spinning action distributes the forming energy symmetrically, and the sheet metal flows over and envelopes the mandrel, taking its exact contours.

For shapes that curve back in on both sides, known as re-entrant shapes, a collapsible or multi-piece mandrel must be used so that the mandrel is not captured and can be removed after spinning. An example of such a shape is the Winston Chandelier’s potbelly body, shown below.

The beauty and value of metal spinning rest in its ability to generate beautiful and large parts quickly, precisely, and efficiently. There are no theoretical upper size limits to this process: large sheets can be welded together, huge forms can be made. The same shapes produced via casting or solid lathe turning would be both impossibly heavy and needlessly expensive.

Selecting the right type of spinning for the volume, dimensions, and details of the job is a complex calculation, and one of the steps where our expert team provides lasting value. Contact our Custom Division to get started.

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SHOWROOM NEWS: Our showrooms are open

Our New York, Los Angeles and Chicago showrooms are open by appointment between 9AM-6PM. Virtual shopping trips and video or phone consultations with any of our team are also available. Contact your account manager or nearest showroom .
GREENWICH
After 10 years as members of the Greenwich community we have decided to relocate to a remote office and we are no longer at 44 West Putnam Avenue. For appointments, sample viewing, shipments, appointments in our NYC showroom, office and site visit availability, Jessica Makara can be reached during regular business hours
at 646-723-2493 or jessica@remains.com.
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Pairing Design & Technique – Vol 2 Glass

Artisan made glass is behind some of our most remarkable lighting and custom creations today, yet the practice began 3000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Through a series of techniques, some we’ll expand on below, molten glass can be made to take some truly incredible forms but understanding these processes and when they should be used is key. Our team has the know-how to pair your project with the correct tools and techniques. Have an idea? Let’s start planning! 

Blown Glass – The classic image of the glass maker inflating a bubble of molten glass at the end of a blowpipe is as true and valid today as it was 3000 years ago in Egypt where glassblowing originated. The variety of forms made under this name are numerous, from scientific lab-ware to free-blown sculpture. In the world of lighting, we often use carved wooden or cast iron molds to make reliable, dimensionally-accurate shapes. When we have a wider latitude for organic shapes, we’ll move to free blowing which uses no fixed molds, rather it relies on the eye and hand of the artist and simple tools like the cherry block, jacks, marver, paddles, and shears.

Casting – In much the same ways that metal is cast, glass can also be cast. We make molds of plaster, ceramic, metal, graphite, to name a few. The style of mold may be open faced or completely encasing, as in lost wax casting. We pair the process and the materials with the quantity needed & desired result in crispness, surface features, optical quality and other factors. In every case we work with the process to accentuate its native characteristics.

Slumped/Bent Glass – We can take flat sheets of glass and slowly heat them over curved molds in a kiln to create domes, serpentine bends, simple radiuses, folds, and other interesting shapes. Sometimes the molds are complex and unique pieces of metalwork, sometimes they are as simple as a round bar. We’re always looking to pair the most efficient and ingenious means to the end.

Cutting and Etching – Once the glass is cool, we finish the surface with various treatments to frost it with acids or by sandblasting, cut and carve it with diamond wheels, or polish it to make the facets shine.

 

 

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New Can Lighting from Commune

Our latest collaboration with Commune comes in the form of utilitarian can lighting with solid brass cylindrical bodies and signature ‘slash-pierced’ shades.  Pendants, sconces and flush mounted versions are now proudly made at our Brooklyn factory.  See them all here and read on for words from Commune’s Roman Alonso.

“We’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best and most capable collaborators in our field and Remains Lighting is no exception. David Calligeros and his team have been part of the Commune family for many years now, bringing their expertise to match our vision. With our new ‘Can’ lighting there is a fixture for every need: flush mount spots, wall washing sconces, pendants and reading lamps.”     -  Roman Alonso of Commune

Incase you missed it – Our smallest fixture yet, the Mini globe flush mount is also newly available as part of our collection of Commune designed lighting. Made with a solid brass ribbed neck and hand-blown glass globe, this tiny light is small but mighty.

SHOP ALL COMMUNE + REMAINS LIGHTING 

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Lighting an NYC Skyscraper A Collaborative Effort between Remains and Robert A.M. Stern Architects

For 25 years, Remains has had the pleasure of working with world-class architects and designers — initially as a source for restored antiques, but we quickly grew into a from-scratch manufacturer specializing in custom design and fabrication. With a team and client base aligned on the demands for utmost quality and smart design, our custom portfolio covers a wide range: spanning work which is purely decorative to that which is purely technical, with most projects falling somewhere midway on that spectrum.

Work on 220 Central Park South by Robert A.M. Stern Architects allowed us to flex the range of our capabilities from the base to the crown of the tower. At street level, cast bronze exterior sconces of varying scale enhance the pedestrian experience. We focused on expressing the details designed by RAMSA with heavy, solid brass castings and custom cased glass panels. Check out our recent blog post about casting methods to see some of these parts in fabrication. For a crisp and considered appearance, we added details such as custom hinges and latches, light-leak blockers, cast glass cabochons, and others.

At the top of the tower, wrought aluminum shrouds enliven and protect the LED floodlights that illuminate the upper stories of the building at night. We had to consider a multitude of factors at this height: birds, rain, snow, high wind speeds, and installation in shifting joints. We enjoyed the challenge and are grateful to have a team of engineers up to the task.

The thoughtful details define the soul of this wonderful architectural addition to New York City. We’re proud to have our work highlight RAMSA’s modern classical design at human scale and skyline scale.

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Jewels in the Sky

The Crouse Hinds Co. exists to this day making technical and extreme-duty lighting for bridges, airports, factories and ships. I came across them 25 years ago when I bought a large set of bronze lights removed from the parapet wall of 325 Spring Street. The quality of these old fixtures piqued my interest in the history of the company as I hunted for other fixtures to collect and restore.

The 8 page brochure shows watercolor renderings of buildings illuminated by Crouse Hinds fixtures. The focus is the effect of the fixtures, rather than the fixtures themselves. We’ve tried to track the illustrations back to the actual buildings and have a few solid hunches. We’re curious if any of you can identify them. Submit your guesses to the post on our Instagram @remainslighting or email us at custom@remains.com. We’d love to hear from you.



We currently have a few restored Crouse Hinds fixtures in our vintage collection. Take a look. The cast aluminum hardware and holophane glass shades were originally built for industrial environments generations ago, but are certainly not lacking in attractive profiles.



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Pairing Design and Technique – Vol 1. Metal Casting

Our team knows, custom projects demand thoughtful solutions. Each project needs to hit a unique set of quality, schedule, and cost notes; pairing the right technique to those demands is our expertise. This year, we’re lifting the curtain on the varied techniques and materials we use in building your custom designs. Today’s spotlight is on metal casting and the lead role it plays in some of our most loved products.

Metal casting is an ancient set of techniques, chief among them are sand casting and lost wax casting; each is suited for different uses.

SAND CASTING Imagine your footprint in the sand at the water’s edge. If you were to pour molten metal in your footprint you would have a perfect positive cast. In decorative brass and bronze casting, we use special sands and precise patterns engineered to overcome the challenges of high temperature, dimensional stability, and flawless sections.

Sand castings are highly dependable, reliably precise in dimensions, and work beautifully for large work. Selecting the right type of pattern for the volume, dimensions, and details of the job is a complex calculation, and one of the steps where our expert team provides lasting value.

Sand cast parts for a recent custom lighting project

The elements in the images above were all modeled directly in CAD software and we printed the patterns in resin on large format 3D printers. The castings were large, up to 50” in length and 60lbs each.The final assembled fixtures are over 7’ tall and flank the entrance of a 70 story Manhattan skyscraper.

 
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LOST WAX CASTING A more complex, multi-step casting technique best suited for highly intricate parts which require precise surface finishes. A wax model with all of the desired features, down to eyelash and butterfly-wing fine details is embedded in a shell of plaster or ceramic which is then fired, making it hard and stable. In this firing process, the wax melts out and burns off, leaving a perfect void in the shell, in the shape of the wanted part. This burn-out phase is from where the term “lost wax” comes.

There are many paths to producing your wax pattern, from one-off hand carving, to direct-wax 3d printing, to rubber molds, to machined aluminum molds, all with their advantages and disadvantages.

Lost wax casting process and parts for a custom lighting project

The organic shapes in the acanthus leaf, pinecone, and fish-scale details of the lanterns in the images were only accomplishable with lost wax casting techniques. The undercuts would make these impossible to release from sand molds. The fine surface finish, as well, was a deciding factor in selecting lost wax casting as the right technique for this project.

Get in touch today to see how we can help deliver the highest quality and fidelity craft to realize your designs.

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Luxury in every detail

Watch now : Luxury lighting made by hand in Brooklyn, NY

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