Thanks to their whimsical silhouettes and gesture-revealing textures, Crosland + Emmons’s lighting pieces present a pleasing sense of surprise in a room. Their tactility is striking; and by bestowing them with wonder-evoking names like the Circus Pendant and Run It Through The Garden, it’s clear the company’s founder Dana Castle-Duguay takes delight in and approaches her work with immense curiosity and interest in awe-making.

 Based in Savannah, Georgia, Crosland + Emmons has gained renown for its elegantly offbeat “sculptural lighting” and collections that highlight the beautiful unpredictability in working with clay. Its eye-catching work was recently featured at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase by the Nash Design Group.

 Hollace Cluny is pleased to offer Crosland + Emmons’s unique hand-crafted collections in our showroom, and to celebrate them being in our space, we’ve asked Dana some questions about the company and how she creates the wonderous work she does.


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The Circus 01 Pendant gets its cheer from a playfully festooned edge.

 Do you have a first memory of the feeling you had when you saw a beautifully designed space or object?

 Yes, it was a feeling of discovery. Spaces have so many levels of interest – even minimally designed ones. I still feel that way when looking at a beautiful space; I’m looking for the reason why I am drawn to it. Sometimes it’s the textures or the layers; and sometimes it is the emptiness of it.

What's your favorite way to problem-solve when working on a project? 

 There are many challenges to my work creating ceramic lighting. The limitation of the materials, finding balance, the firing process, et cetera.

 When I’m creating a new lighting design, I usually sketch something that I just have to create, and I just can’t not figure it out. I create the ceramic part first, and then I have to figure out the assembly, and how the electrical will work with the mechanical structure of it all. So, my problem solving is really about patience and exploration. I try many different things until one works; occasionally I do have to change a design slightly to accommodate all its needs, but I can still keep the beauty of it intact.


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Fans of flora will be especially drawn to Crosland + Emmons’s Run It Through The Garden design.

 How do you invigorate your creativity? 

I’m inspired by fellow ceramic artists, for one. And I love shapes and bringing different shapes together; this inspiration can come from nature – places I enjoy visiting like Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon. The rock formations and the balance of nature always inspires me and gets my creativity moving.

Why do you primarily choose to create your pieces in white?

I don’t like the distraction of colour. I love texture, and to see the movement of the hand in my work. Each piece of lighting I make is really a series of moments in time – if I’d moved my hand slightly differently, then the look of a piece would be different. 

 That is beauty of clay: It is about moments. An absence of colour, to me, is sort of like not wearing makeup; sometimes wearing it distracts from the beauty of the real person. I feel a peace about working in white. It can be very vulnerable yet freeing.


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The cleverly craggy White Fins Pendant is a perfect example of lighting designer Dana Castle-Duguay’s embrace of the unknowns in ceramics making

You describe lighting as being "part of the canvas of a room" – can you elaborate on that philosophy and how it relates to your work?

 A room is a space that gets filled with objects. Like in creating a painting, objects get added to the canvas of that empty space. My lighting is just one part of that “painting”; but as with the elements in a good work of art, the lighting needs to fit; to blend in, to be in the right place, and to have intention.