ISSUE 89  |  Get Organized

Elegant Lighting from a YouTube-Taught Artist

September 11, 2013 5:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

While working on his thesis at Parsons, Ryden Rizzo found himself watching a series of YouTube tutorials about basic woodworking. Pairing his past experience with technology and lighting design with this newfound self-taught skill, Rizzo went back to Sea Cliff, New York, and cleaned out his parents’ garage.

After building a few small pieces for friends, Rizzo founded Allied Maker, a company selling bespoke lighting and home items. He takes pride in stamping “Made in USA” on everything that he sells and packs shipments in full recycled and biodegradable materials. For more information, visit Allied Maker.

Above: The Writers Lamp was, as Rizzo says, “created from the desire to have an arch shaped desk lamp that was heavy, rich in materials, yet simple and subservient.” The spun brass shade sits on a handmade white oak base that is finished to expose the quarter-sawn flakes in the wood’s grain; $180.

Above: The adjustable head swivels to 90 degrees.

Above: The Leo Task Lamp ($400) is made from quarter-sawn smoked oak wood that is fumed under pressure to accelerate the natural aging process, resulting in a dark brown color all the way through the wood: “It’s what oak will look like in 1,000 years,” Rizzo says.

Above: Along with the smoked oak shade, the task lamp includes a 10-pound cast iron weighted base with a leather laminated bottom.

Above: The Walnut-Maple Lamp was inspired by a book on Japanese joinery; Rizzo wanted to highlight the technique in a series of lamps. This lamp includes solid brass hardware and a black linen or white cotton lamp shade; $599. 

Above: The American black walnut is seamlessly jointed with a “bird’s mouth” joint of Fingered maple on top: “the two pieces are cut and joined together using a combination of 20 clamps.”

Above: The Brass & Oak Wall Lamp references a classic hand bell and is made from solid brass and white oak and includes a cotton cord. A hand-carved handle on top of the shade allows for lighting adjustments; $284.

Above: The oak lamp base measures 5 by 3.5 inches.

For more from our favorite lighting designers, see 10 Easy Pieces: Affordable Lighting from a New Crop of Designers.