New York-based lighting designer and master glass blower John Pomp, has recently designed “The Touch,” a limited edition Newton decanter for St. Helena, California-based Newton Vineyard, which he will debut this Thursday at Gallery R’Pure in New York City. Pomp has previously been involved in lighting projects, such as the Andaz West Hollywood Hotel and The Royalton Hotel in New York City. His accessories collection is available at Barneys, Neiman Marcus, and Takshimaya.
Contract speaks with Pomp to learn more about his perspective on glassblowing’s contribution to current design.
Profile Snapshot: John Pomp
Company: John Pomp Studios
How did the Newton Vineyard’s sustainable practices affect your own eco-friendly practices? What was particularly striking about their philosophy?
I’ve independently needed to be careful and eco-minded with my resources. As for Newton, I was surprised at how similar their approach to winemaking is to the way I approach glass: not trying to do too much so the natural purity of the material—either glass, or wine—shines through.
How does “The Touch,” exemplify sustainable design, and what were the inspirations behind it?
In concept, “The Touch” is about a balance between nature and design. It was inspired by my trip to Newton Vineyard and Chris’s approach to winemaking. I admired his “gentle touch” in producing a natural expression of the grapes, and saw how that mirrored my own touch in glassmaking. Additionally, “The Touch” is made with 30 percent recycled glass and the excess heat produced by my furnaces heats our entire building in the fall/winter.
Why is glassblowing so attractive to you? How do glass-blown pieces differ from other lighting products in their contributions to a space?
It’s dangerous, seductive, illusive, fragile—it’s one of the only creative materials in which the variables are constantly changing while working. I try to make sure that all of our pieces have a sophisticated way of letting people know it was truly made by someone’s hand and that there is no other like it.
When did you first realize a passion for glassblowing and lighting design?
The moment I was able to work with molten glass, I fell in love with the material and the process. Lighting design came quite naturally. Everything that I love about glass has everything to do with light.
What characteristics would you attribute to your work?
Naturally handcrafted and elegant.
Which has been your favorite lighting project so far, and why?
My newest lighting collection is my favorite. I’ve re-interpreted the classic schoolhouse pendant light and turned it into a beautiful bronze and opaline white glass chandelier, which I named after the school I went to.
Which is your favorite piece of architecture, and why?
Falling water—because of Frank Lloyd Wright’s harmony with nature. It also resonates with my own work and sensibility.
How do you think the art of glassblowing will change in the next few years?
I don’t think that it will, because it hasn’t for hundreds upon hundreds of years.