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This Whiz-Kid Forged Her Own Toronto Lighting Brand

Concord Custom Lighting introduces a dazzling collection of luminaires to the city

By Sara Cunningham

Kate MacNeill, the dynamo talent behind Concord Custom Lighting, a new Toronto design and manufacturing studio, got her start cutting, bending, threading and welding custom luminaires at Commute Home.

“At that stage,” she says, “I had no experience with electrical or metal working at all.” That changed when Yoki Milke, who now runs his own lighting studio, Milke Bau, began mentoring her in Commute’s busy west end workshop.

She’s a quick study: within five years, the PEI native and graduate of Humber’s Cabinet Making program went from tinkering with wire sockets to coordinating complex lighting orders with local shops and fabricators. “I would be taking a drawing and figuring out the sum of its parts – essentially building myself an Ikea kit. When all was said and done, there might have been four or five people producing elements for a single piece.”

Concord, launched in mid 2018, is her first solo venture, although, she still recruits the expertise of this city’s top manufacturers, from glass blowers to laser cutters.

But that isn’t to say that she’s done making things herself. Her debut collection includes the Art Deco-inspired Roscoe pendant ($1,650, shown above), a harmonic composition of powder-coated steel tubing with a frosted globe, diffused by an assertive mirror-plated steel disc. “A light can be so many things,” she muses. But no matter the parts or process, Concord is all her own.

Originally published in our Small Spaces 2019 issue as Headlight.

Categories: Local Act


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