Friday, August 7, 2009

Bright Haute: Shout-out to Local Artist Kathi Mullaney

Kathi Mullaney is the sort of woman that makes you cheery. Handshakes are not a typical greeting. Think along the lines of a big hug. You cannot help but to smile. And her home is an extension of her personality. At a recent summer party for her children and their friends (and yes, I was lucky enough to be invited. No party crashing necessary here!), I got to see her beautiful home, her studio, and Kathi’s lovely lamps.

Walking around Kathi’s home, I was like a kid in a candy store. With about a million dollars to spare. I just ate up the coziness and homey-ness of it all. And I’m still starving. I was able to admire the lovely rock lamps, where the base is made entirely of pebbles cemented together. Topping this was a custom made lamp shade. The material was heavier, patterned linen. Shown below is an example.

My particular favorite was the lamp base made of beach glass and seashells. The blue and green color combination from the beach glass layered on top each other, with the light bouncing through them, produced a summery seaside incandescence. Pictured below is an example of what I’m trying to describe.

Kathi is also a talented ceramic artist. Have a look! It makes me sort of giddy, almost as if I were in Santa’s workshop.

I really like the details that she puts into her lamps. And how cool is it that a lamp can be both functional and fabulous? I know that there is much encouragement to buy and support local businesses, such as Kathi’s. I also know that there are many good reasons for this, economically and socially. Independent businesses: 1) typically recycle more funds back into the community, providing for further enrichment of the people in the community, 2) allow for increase in product diversity and selection, and 3)are typically more sustainable compared to chain stores, due to the need to be efficient with resources. I’ve only listed a few of the reasons why buying local is important—there are many, many more. But pssst…here’s a secret: I think the best reason to support your local businesses is because you get to know the people behind the work. Like Kathi, the embodiment of kindness and welcoming. It’s almost too coincidental that she has chosen to make lamps as a career. How many quotations are there out there about light casting out darkness, or light being a friend? It is all too fitting here because what makes Kathi’s lamps and work so interesting is that you can really see the artist behind the art. What I’m really trying to say is, you can see the wonderful woman, mother, and friend behind a perfectly metaphorical, bright and warm light.

Images from Kathi’s blog:
Kathi’s work can be found here:

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