John Pomp creates contemporary, handcrafted lighting pieces and more inspired by the natural beauty of the living world—evoking the fluidity of both fire and water. He fell in love with glassblowing during art school at the age of 19. Since then, John’s passion for molten glass, fire, and more recently, the ocean, has been a driving influence through thirty years mastering his art. John has grown his multidisciplinary studio in Fishtown, Philadelphia, to include over 50 craftspeople and artists who team to create his lighting, as well as furniture and sculptural objects.
“We always work with the materials, not against them.”
The intertwining of the four classical elements—fire, water, earth, and air—is a constant source of inspiration to John. Embracing organic imperfections and traditional craft techniques, the collection seamlessly blends elements of hand-blown glass, precious metals, exotic woods, and rich leathers. Perfectly imperfect, fragile, and ethereal, yet purposeful and functional, his pieces are truly unique and gorgeous.
“Glass is nothing without light.”
John explains that the relationship glass has with light is magical. He is in love with the birth of light—the stars, our sun—and strives to bring to life that subtle essence in his designs. He expands, offering that, “Don’t we all love to sit at the campfire? Don’t we all love to stargaze, see the twinkle of lights on bridges, in cities? Don’t we celebrate the sun rising and setting?” To John, the experience of being human celebrates light. He hopes his work evokes this feeling.
His Radiant Collection has everything to do with the birth of light, stars, and the cosmos. The pieces include iridescent glass and incorporate the interplay of shadows and light.
“Glass is a real living thing, and it does whatever it wants to do with or without you. All I’m trying to do is gain a deeper understanding of the material and capture what it wants to do.”
The artistry and discipline of glassmaking is the heart of the studio and the collection. Using their own crystal glass, a dedicated team of glass artists works together to melt, pour, and blow every rarified piece of art. When asked why he used crystal instead of regular glass, John replies, “Crystal is extra sparkly.”
The studio makes everything from raw materials, even manufacturing its own nuts and bolts. There is no outsourcing.
John’s goal is to make a statement with special, sculptural pieces. As John puts it, “We use a studio sculptural approach and go exploring. Then we discover things.” He shares that the studio has a design process vs. a product process. The design approach, which embraces experimentation, is always about the form—aesthetic, sensual, beautiful—and the function follows suit.
John is humbled by the early days, when he hoped to make a living through his art. The studio is now in a 100,000 square foot facility. Currently 65,000 of that space is in use. As shares John, “the rest is for dreaming.”
The first John Pomp Showroom is soon opening in New York City at The New York Design Center at 200 Lex. It will feature new living and dining room designs, along with experimental, one-of-a-kind works of art. He looks forward to exceptional storytelling and making a statement in his own space. John says it will be a “living gallery.”
Drawing on his love of natural elements, John Pomp’s lighting designs embody the living world through the unique interplay of exceptional crystal and other natural materials with light—the source of everything.
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