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Tuesday
Jun172014

UECo U Grant Series 1: Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing

The UECo U Grant program is part of the larger UECo U(niversity) effort to support our employees in their personal efforts at continuous improvement. We believe strongly that the company benefits when the individual skills of our team are enhanced.

Under the UECo U Grant program, employees can request funding for opportunities that foster inspiration and learning outside of the office. Employees have received grants for a variety of learning activities including a recent trip for several craftsman to the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing.

Craft team members Kevin, Jacob, and Nathan traveled to Waynesboro, VA where they were able to attend a special 2-day course at the Institute taught by co-founder Dale Morse to learn all about the methods used in traditional blacksmithing. After learning some of the techniques, the guys were quickly able to put their new skills in action to create their own designs out of old railroad spikes. By first heating steel in a handmade forge, they were able to take anvils and hammers to shape and stretch the metal into knives and bottle openers. In a very short time, they were able to understand the history and process of blacksmithing and bring that knowledge back to apply to future projects at headquarters.

In addition to running the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing, Dale is also a proprietor of Clay Hill Forge, an artisanal blacksmithing operation that specializes in architectural and ornamental ironwork.  Read more here.

Wednesday
Jun042014

Worth It

Voted one of the top 3 "Most Iconic" streets in America in 2013, Worth Avenue stretches four blocks from Lake Worth to the Atlantic Ocean. The original Palm Beach pier that marked the grand entrance to Worth Avenue extended more than 1,000 feet into the ocean, but was damaged by hurricanes in the 1940s and completely wiped out by the 1960s. After it was destroyed, there was nothing left to mark the entrance, leaving the intersection virtually indistinguishable from any other street in the area.

In 2010, Worth Avenue underwent an extensive renovation to restore and preserve the elegant atmosphere of the Palm Beach gem. The $15.8 million Worth Avenue Improvement Project was conducted during the off-season and lasted two years. This major street scape redesign included the installation of 200 mature coconut palms, tabby concrete sidewalks and a 25-foot clock tower designed by Bridges and Marsh Architects. SMI Landscape Architecture was enlisted to design two entry columns with lanterns to further establish the entrance from South Ocean Boulevard.

When SMI started the entry column project, their first step was to research historical archives for information related to the Avenue. It was important for the design to reflect the traditional architecture of the over 100 year old town. "Our approach to the design was rooted deeply in recreating the original feel of the Avenue and the character of Palm Beach, and not to stray into trying to create a different environment or character. From the inception of the column concept, we always knew we wanted lights on top of the column, but had a hard time finding a “stock” light that was appropriate and large enough to work with the columns, which is when we contacted UECo to begin the development of the custom lights that ended up on the columns," explained Brian Vertesch of SMI. "The UECo aesthetic perfectly blended with the traditional architecture found in Palm Beach."

UECo was founded with the specific intention of producing one-off custom lighting fixtures for designers. It is exciting to have been a part of such an important project and we are extremely proud that our custom post-mount lanterns anchor the iconic entrance to Worth Avenue. 

Read more about our custom capabilities and process here

*Artist renderings credited to Jim Stillwell

Tuesday
Jun032014

UECo Behind the Scenes: On Location Vol 1: N. Cali

Our Creative Team just returned from the West Coast where they went on location to capture some of our client’s amazing projects. Palo Alto was the first stop on the photoshoot where they captured a one-off custom chandelier by Martha Angus. From there the team made their way to the Cairdean Estate in St. Helena just outside the Napa Valley. Nicole Hollis Interior Design and Signum Architecture worked together on the design for the vineyard where our Markham sconces lined the exterior of the property. As would be fitting while in Napa, the team enjoyed some a tasting at the Elizabeth Spencer Winery before calling it a day. The next morning they hit three more projects in the area with clients Hillary Thomas DesignsJeffers Design Group, and Jute Home. Reluctantly leaving wine country the team made their way to Tiburon and Belvedere to visit a few more projects from clients Samantha Lyman Interior Design and Willrich Architecture.

Follow us on Instagram to see the final shots when we release them on our portfolio pages in the coming weeks! 

Monday
Jun022014

A Conversation with Jen Langston

Jen Langston, Charleston, SC, jenlangston.com

(1) What UECo light do you like to use the most and why

The Urban Smokebell — it is timeless, elegant and modern. It also reminds me of India!

(2) Your six picks of favorite UECo lights?


My favorite UECo lights are the Langston (hmmmm wonder why?), Pavilion, Globus, Urban Smokebell, Thaddeus and Shaw.

(3) What is your design philosophy?

Stay true to your instincts, they are usually right - that is my philosophy!

(4) What is something people many not know about you?

I just started a few years ago.

(5) What is your favorite part of a home to design and why?

I like helping clients get in touch with their own style.

(6) Three design resources you can’t live without?

Cisco brothers, South Windermere Antiques, the Internet.

(7) Best design tips you have learned from experience?

Keep it simple, simple is always best!

(8) What do you collect?

Vintage design books, white porcelain vases, woven bags and baskets from my travels.

(9) What are your favorite paint colors to use?

Benjamin Moore - Intense White, Winter White

(10) What are your favorite design books?

All Daryl Carter's books are great. I really love getting ideas from vintage design books. Oh, travel books too!

Monday
May192014

Field Trip: UECo U Series 7: Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Charleston

This month's UECo University offsite ‘Lunch & Learn’ was a walking tour of downtown Charleston led by Creative Director Michael Amato. The City of Charleston is surrounded by wonderful historic buildings and private residences that date back to as early as the 1600's.  Michael curated a South of Broad loop that highlighted historic homes with our fixtures along the Battery and Legare and Meeting Streets.   

The tour started at the Four Corners of Law (Meeting and Broad Street) which is home to four impressive buildings representing Federal, State, Municipal and Canon Law. Walking down Broad Street, the eager group came upon the first installation - a series of our popular Sword Gate lanterns in conjunction with a John Gantt original. As the tour continued, the group had opportunity to see several traditional UECo designs including the appropriately named Charleston, Harrogate, and Adger’s Wharf lanterns in addition to a number of custom fixtures sprinkled throughout. The group even made a special stop by UECo collaborator Mark Maresca’s office and 18th Century home which feature many of the architect’s designs including the Phillip and Maresca Standing Seam lanterns. The tour concluded in front of the South Carolina Society Hall on Meeting Street which proudly boasts a noteable custom UECo post-mount lantern.

Following the tour, everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch in Washington Square park to discuss all that they'd seen. It was exciting for the craftsman and artisans to see the impact of their work on buildings and homes around town. The tour only featured a portion of the many UECo lights that can be seen all over downtown Charleston - stay tuned for a follow up Lunch & Learn tour (or several) highlighting other interesting areas of the historic city!