Photo: Michelle Emerson
ILLUMINATI, a chandelier refurbishing and redecorating collaboration between Natasha Sebring and Callie Capps, has only been functioning since February, 2010, but the work these two ladies are spinning out is nothing short of, well, awesome. Thus far, none of their handiwork has been publicly displayed or sold, but all of that will change at this year’s Craft Lake City.
When asked about how their collaboration began, Capps earnestly places the blame on Sebring. “SHE started it! It was HER idea!” Capps says. “Well, it was the wintertime, and I will say that I probably watch way too much HGTV,” says Sebring. “I’m no Martha Stewart by any means, but that really got me thinking about doing this. Callie and I worked together when I came up with this idea.” “When I told her about it, she was immediately stoked because she’s already a jewelry maker. I really like Natasha’s style, and her ideas were really inspiring to me,” says Capps. The partnership is a true collaboration—each piece they’ve completed thus far may switch hands back and forth between the two, but they each have what amounts to a final say on each piece.
The bottom line is that the work Sebring and Capps have been doing is simply stunning. Currently, they have seven finished chandeliers (they hope to have ten completed and available for Craft Lake City) and, simply put, all of the pieces are definitely eye-catching. Ranging from simple to downright garish, the two seem to be able to seamlessly flow from one design to the next without compromising quality or “craftiness.” To summarize: while one piece may look perfect in a house, another piece would look excellent in an upper-class dining area or even illuminating a summer patio.
Both Sebring and Capps have done their fair share of thrift store shopping for chandeliers that they believe can be useful to them and attractive to the end-buyer, but they’ve had a decent amount of help as well. Friends, family and acquaintances that are known to frequent thrift shops, flea markets and yard sales have all been put on alert as to what the pair is looking for. “The more that don’t end up in a landfill, the better,” says Capps. “We can make something out of anything, so we’ve tried to spread the word as much as possible.” While the duo’s initial plan was to be as green as possible by recycling old lighting, using energy-efficient light bulbs in their finished fixture, they found out quickly that, while admirable, this plan wasn’t necessarily viable. “Energy-efficient light bulbs are kind of ugly,” quips Sebring. “But we’ve begun thinking about doing chandeliers that hold candles instead of electric lights.”
While prices for their wares have not yet been set, Sebring and Capps will most assuredly be keeping them reasonable and are even including instructions for placement and wiring their chandeliers for whomever purchases them. To reuse an already tired pun, the future looks quite bright for ILLUMINATI. Yes…I really just said that.