Design, Journal

A story about Materials

M a t e r i a l s

Material and tactility are crucial to the design process at Lightly. So, this week we are looking at metal, a medium we have worked with notably in the last few years.

My father taught me to weld at a very young age. We enjoyed finding scrap metal from discarded machines to make something on weekends. My first studio at 19 was in a scrap metal yard in the Swan Valley, where I learnt the trade tricks from a lovely man Flash.

As an industrial designer, many materials inspire me. I have returned to my roots recently, with most of our forms made from brass, copper, and mild steel. The mild steel is powder coated in our original custom colours designed in-house, including many of our planters and lighting pieces.

Metal spinning involves spinning a disc or tube of metal at high speed, forming it around an existing mould or shape. We love its lower waste (material isn’t removed to create the form), its ability to create beautiful detail and the added strength and durability of pieces without seams.

Creative artisans at our studio in India spin by hand, using varied techniques to create our original shapes, seamless joins and high-quality finishes. The metal is zinc coated for no rust assurance and then sprayed with powder to seal the form.

We also put random pieces from all batches in the salt spray test to ensure the powder has sealed the metal.

Other metals we use are aluminium, solid brass and copper.

Inspiration over the last 16 years comes from exploring materials with artisans who produce our designs. Cindy-Lee has designed over 200+ products in metal since 2005, with more exciting innovations to come!


Packaging and Assembly