/Get Inspired/Stuff

Jeff Goodman Studio’s Penny Vine Is Worth Fantasizing About

Paired with a massive glass “pebble,” JGS’s cantilevered lighting feels like something from a dreamscape

By Tory Healy
Photography by Sylvia Lee

It’s early January and gh3’s architecture office is quiet, the designers working before computers in the darkness. Enter Sylvia Lee (executive and creative director of Jeff Goodman Studio) and her installation crew, who proceed to drill through the street-facing wall. Up go four copper branches, the longest cantilevering more than a metre out. Spiralling around them, all golden angle–like, are 29 hand-blown glass “leaves” lit from within by LEDs. The fixture floods the office with springtime ambiance, making the architects blink and passersby ogle.

Jeff Goodman Studio

Paired with a glass “pebble,” the inventive piece (called Daydream Under the Penny Vine) is Lee’s first lighting project. Based in a 613-square-metre facility in East York, her five-person team typically busies itself reproducing its late founder’s glass vessels. Every summer, though, Lee makes good on her promise to present new work at the annual wintertime DesignTO festival (where we first say Daydream) by tapping into, of all things, the obsolete. In the past, she’s re-imagined the abacus, her artisans producing a large-scale modular version to be used as a partition. Another time, she had an architectural screen fashioned from carefully bent manila sheath–shaped glass panes; it was inspired by the studio’s endless stack of redundant file folders.

For this work, Lee was galvanized by the discontinued copper penny, and by the silver dollar vine, a succulent similar to one once cultivated by her uncle. To make the oval leaves, a glassblower flattened molten orbs with cork blocks; the 90-kilo translucent pebble she coupled the lighting with was hand-carved for weeks from epoxied borosilicate glass. Daydream Under the Penny Vine is innovation born from nostalgia, tranquility cultured by labour. JEFFGOODMANSTUDIO.COM