The Vision of Clouds

August 15, 2019

Clients Kurt and Cindy Kalkomey along with their interior designers Catherine Albritton and Daphne Kuykendall of design firm AKI worked with the Carlyn Ray Designs team to create extraordinary lit glass clouds to hang above their kitchen island and a glass rod chandelier for their dining room.  Carlyn asked Cindy Kalkomey a few questions about the process and her answers embody exactly what Carlyn and team strive for on every project.

Q&A with client Cindy Kalkomey:

What do you love most about your piece?

The clouds above our kitchen island are the first thing I notice when I walk out from our master suite in the morning, and they always make me smile.

How does your piece differ from one you would have bought from a lighting store or gallery?

I’ve never seen pieces anything like these in any lighting store or showroom. They are totally unique.

Can you describe the process or experience of making a piece with Carlyn and her team?

We met with Carlyn and saw some of her work and the studio where her pieces are created. We were sold before they had even come up with the designs. But the design process was fascinating and collaborative.  It involved Carlyn, Kyle (CRD’s engineer), AKI (our interior designers), and my husband and me.  

The process for the piece over our kitchen island was the most involved. We had already selected the slab of quartzite for our large kitchen island; and the slab was named Desert Storm, which was fitting since it has the colors of the desert and has the movement of a storm.  And so, I suggested something cloud-like for the lighting above it.  Carlyn’s team were off and running with that small seed of an idea. They first fashioned a small-scale version of a single cloud to show us how it could be shaped with the individual glass globes. Once we agreed we were on the right track for the overall form, Carlyn’s team played with variations on the finishes and deformations of the globes. Next step was to address how the cloud would be lit – which globes would have interior lights, and how the light wiring would work with the suspension wires for the individual globes that comprised the cloud. Lastly, they did a full-scale, lit single cloud in their studio for approval. The final step was Carlyn’s team doing the installation – globe by globe, light by light – on scaffolding in our new home. It’s truly a work of art.

The dining room chandelier design process was similar but simpler. There were fewer uncertainties and more clarity from the beginning about the overall form of the piece. Carlyn’s team worked with us to get the scale of the piece perfect for our space. And I love their design for the individual glass rods. Not only do the rods vary subtly in their finishes and lengths, the ends of the rods almost look as if they are dripping down. It makes the chandelier a fusion of formal and organic that’s exquisite.

Carlyn and her team are so grateful for the opportunities to collaborate with clients like Cindy and Kurt and designers like Catherine and Daphne.