The Arbol Light by Michael Ruh


The New Craftsmen has worked with glass artist, Michael Ruh, since the very founding of the business in 2012. Over the years, we have collaborated with Michael on various collections and projects - from lighting to sculptural objects, all of which celebrate Michael’s profound empathy and sensitivity to light, colour and landscape.

Representing another chapter of our collaborative relationship, today we are proud to launch the Arbol Light. Designed by Michael exclusively for The New Craftsmen, it is a stunning expression of his imagination and a sculptural illumination of his glass artistry. Inspired by the elegant limbs of a tree in early bloom, Michael collaborated for the first time with a metal workshop to realise this statement, pendant light.

Here, Michael poetically answers three questions about the light to reveal more about the creative process and inspiration behind the venture:

Light plays a very important role in your practice as a glass blower and artist. Please tell us more:

By observing glass, I become aware of observing light. And by observing light, I become aware of observing colour. I am intrigued how light affects and changes colour. I'm attracted to severely faded colours. A coloured object exposed to light over time marks the passage of time by registering its changed colour. As such, that faded object itself comes to manifest the passing of time.

What was the inspiration behind the distinct form and shape of the Arbol Light?

‘Arbol’ is the Spanish word for tree. Much earlier in my career I would go for walks in the forest to gain focus to work. Walking in the forest, I became aware of the distinct light and illumination within the natural realm. Light would move through the leafy canopy above me or define a space; creating an ethereal and temporal architecture within the forest. So the Arbol Light is the memory of that place and time, gazing up to the sky through the forest. The bent metal tubing of the luminaire evokes the memory of the barren winter trees, and the glass lobes remind us that even in winter, the very first icy buds wait for warmer days to unfold.


What was it like collaborating with a metal worker for the first time and combining this with your glass practice?

It was exciting and fascinating to be in a metal workshop. It shares many of the same concerns and pressures as the glass workshop. Such as: How can I take this material, in this case metal, and manipulate it with an efficiency of movement? How can I bring it to life to give it character, and to assign it the signature of my hand?

The light is a made-to-order piece and can be customised according to the scale, finish and type of illumination. Michael welcomes conversations with clients to develop bespoke iterations to create the mood and atmosphere required - from an evocative dining table setting to an elegant, multi-tiered canopy for an entrance hall foyer.

To find out more or discuss a custom order, please email [email protected].