collection stories | piedra lighting

What inspired the new Piedra collection, and what does Tala bring to the collaboration?
The inspiration for the Piedra Collection came at us from a few different directions.
Allyson Keenan, our design director, and I share a stone mask obsession. And we had recently come across the images and the story behind the stone masks from the Aztec civilization of Teotihuacán. There were a very limited number of these masks unearthed—but they all share very specific, geometrically-rendered features that appeal to us aesthetically. The fact that the masks were also characterized by having holes in the ears indicates that they were meant to be hung—which seemed to provide the perfect point of departure for designing wall-hung lighting.
We’d also been wanting, for some time, to find the right fit for a project working in stone. When we learned that it is believed that the stone for the masks of Teotihuacán was quarried from the same place as that being mined today by the artisans in the town in Puebla that we have been wanting to work with, it all gelled.
And the idea of working with Tala on this collection was part of the mix from the very start. We knew that we wanted the overall design sensibility of these lights to mirror the streamlined silhouettes of the masks—and that the bulb, being wholly exposed, needed to be a design element in and of itself. The porcelain effect of the bulbs complements the characteristics of the stone, and the matte finish deflects the light in such a way that it plays differently off the translucency of some of the stones, and the opacity of others.
That, and also just the fact that the light quality of the Tala bulbs is so wholly pleasing—worlds away from other LEDs. More and more of our clients are requesting LED options with our lighting (with more and more building codes requiring them), and Tala bulbs provide a great way for us to be responsive on that count.