Alabaster has been used for ages in the world of art and artifacts because of it's soft stone quality that makes carving easy. It's translucency makes it the perfect muse for lighting designers aiming for a soft organic glow and it's natural beauty is apparent whether illuminated or not because of its organic natural veining. Trends come and go with the seasons and it's not always easy to work with materials used during the middle ages, but then again, as we go back to simpler styles, we sometimes go back to primitive concepts. And Alabaster definitely fits into that category. Whereas in the past alabaster was carved like a pumpkin, we are now seeing more restrained clean modern use of this stone. And the stone is stunning, it is beautiful in it's natural state and doesn't need a lot of dressing, it is a star on it's own. One of the other issues with Alabaster in past lighting fixtures is it's malleable quality not holding up to the heat of incandescent bulbs and browning. Que new LED technology with very limited heat dissipation and you have natural organic alabaster that can stay beautiful for years to come.
The easiest way to understand a comeback is to look who's leading the charge. Kelly Wearstler has been invoking plates of alabaster into lots of her modern work for Visual Comfort. We are obsessed with her Ophellion collection that is so far down the "want" scale it's turned into a need. With a dedicated LED behind it the dissecting 3d pyramid shapes create a handshake of mixed metal and stone as if done by a jeweler. Ophelion is the crown jewel of Kelly Wearstler's geometric shape play into lighting.
The Melange collection by Wearstler has both plates and a pill shape. The Melange pill is a perfectly shaped piece of oval alabaster that makes you want to open up and swallow it. The accented brass, nickel, and bronze is expertly crafted and backed with energy-efficient LED.
Verso by Wearstler is a very crafty contemporary take on the chandelier using the glowing alabaster instead of a boring candelabra light bulb. Thank you for this. We need more oval shapes and we need less boring classic chandeliers, the Verso checks off all these boxes and looks good turned on or off. Oh yeah, it's LED, so no bulbs to change either. Brilliant
The Age of Alabaster is back in full gear at Hudson Valley Lighting with the launch of many new alabaster fixtures including the disc-shaped Eastport collection. Designed with state of the art edge-lit leds that illuminate evenly throughout the fixture, this modern take on a classic stone is elegant and refined.
Following plated alabaster with metal and led are Tribeca, Hillside, and Manhasset. Hudson Valley executes well with Hillside's organizing of alabaster tiles and the metal finish throughout their sconces is neatly detailed. Integrated LED throughout.
Croft from the Hudson Valley Lighting group is a thin metal rod connecting two alabaster discs. Two led bulbs illuminate backlight the alabaster as well as the wall behind creating a floating effect.
Ovals and repetitive lines drawn close together create Hudson Valley's hot look called Aragon. The cupped housing and bell mirror each other to create the perfect hourglass effect. Housed with a small globe lamp, these surface mount ceiling lights will look incredible in a grouping together or even done in a row over islands on low ceilings.
Jamie Young's Delphi sconce plays on the oval shape with a sleek pane of alabaster floating in front of the wall. Showcasing the natural veining and striations like the mounting of a gem on a ring.
Regal and refined. The Arteriors Utterson Pendant is luxe and lustrous. Snow white Alabaster tiles set an elegant stage for light to brilliantly dance upon with this bold and beautiful chandelier. Eight lights work in unison to illuminate this polished piece and its surroundings, while adding an extra element of shine to the antique brass steel trim.
The Borealis collection from Jamie Young plays on strong geometric cubic shapes with glowing alabaster veins. Available in both wall sconces and pendants. The simplicity of stone makes it easy to land in both modern and transitional environments.
The Upsala chandelier from Jamie Young is all around glamour. Trimmed with white alabaster and warm antique brass metal. The brass posts accent and extend the gated alabaster stone surrounded by warm led lighting.
The minimalistic aesthetic of the Halette sconce, by Arteriors, is a design force to be reckoned with. Setting the foundational stage of the piece is a gorgeous circular slab of natural alabaster, which is elevated by an antique brass or bronze steel accent that adds dimension. The alabaster works to filter the light and create a natural warm glow. We see this jewelry-inspired sconce, hung in multiples, adding a contemporary-classic vibe to a space.
Corbet Contemporary is back with the Serenity collection! The Serenity LED Pendantis a graceful display of craftsmanship and luminescence. Each alabaster disc is hand mounted with gold leaf clasps and chain for an elegant appearance.
Disclaimer: When it comes to Alabaster variations, there are many....they are stones and completely unique, each and every one. So it goes without saying, well actually it's stated everywhere that two sconces or two table lamps or two of anything will not match. Variations occur, and they are beautiful.
The only rule when it comes to alabaster is buy the real thing! Do not buy faux alabaster:)