Gunnar and Lotte Bostlund
Lighting makes the room, and a beautiful table lamp can punctuate a space like little else. A great source for the above is Lotte Lamps, a family-run company which to this day produces beautiful pieces of mid-century design. Read on for a brief history of the company, as well as shopping resources for this modern design classic.
I'm a big fan of Lotte lamps; they were originally made in Canada (like me), and my mother had several of them while I was growing up (none of which she'll now part with — trust me, I've tried). I'd love to get my hands on an affordable pair of vintage ones, but at least new lamps are still being produced south of the border.
The company was founded by Gunnar and Lotte Bostlund, a husband-and-wife team from Denmark who both trained in design, Gunnar as a ceramic engineer and Lotte in fine arts. The couple immigrated to Ontario, Canada in the post-WWII years and began producing all kinds of ceramic objects from their home near Toronto.
The first Lotte lamps were produced in 1956, and thanks to the post-war boom and a growing interest in Danish Modern design, the business grew swiftly. With the design of the company's trademark spun-yarn fibreglass lampshade (by the couple's oldest son Morton) the product was complete. Designs produced over the years range from simple glazed shapes to those hand-carved and intricately painted by Lotte herself.
The company remained family-owned until 1997, when it was sold to an American couple, and production scaled down. Today, Victor and Laura Aume, another design-loving couple, produce Lotte Lamps from their barn in Ohio.
Lotte Lamps are available to buy from Lekker Home in the USA and The Modern Shop in Canada, among other dealers, and can also occasionally be found on Ebay or Etsy.
Images: 1. styleNorth, 2. Lekker Home, 3. Lekker Home, 4. zig zag, 5. Lotte Lamps