If you appreciate modern furniture and stunning scenery, a trip to Hudson, New York, is highly recommended. A thriving port city in the early 1800s, Hudson fell into decline for most of the 20th century, but has experienced a revival through antiques. Running through the center of town, Warren Street’s stately old townhouses and former warehouses now host shops whose wares range from Louis XIV to Poul Kjaerholm and Paul McCobb (with a healthy handful of rustic Americana and salvaged industrial objects too). On a recent trip I wandered into Ad Lib Antiques, drawn by the display of chandeliers and pendant lamps. I inquired about a particularly spiky fixture made of metal, and discovered that the charming older gentleman behind the desk, Lou Blasingame, was not only the proprietor (he owns the shop with partner Don Friday), but was also the designer of the piece, which he creates in his studio space behind the shop. Lou has been making metal sculptures for decades, and his signed artworks from the 70′s and 80′s can be found on auction sites, under the shortened name of Lou Blass (yes, he is related to that other designer, Bill).
The “Supernova” chandelier that drew me in is created by Lou out of steel rods, some of which are accented with bronze at the tips. Each fixture is custom-made, and so can be done in a range of sizes (and other materials, for an upcharge). When asked about the inspiration behind Supernova, Lou said that one of his clients compared it to a sea urchin, and his personal moniker for the piece is “Ouch.”