Unique handmade wood lighting since 1994 - LZF is a Spanish brand that focuses on wood veneer lamps and comes forward with inspiring designs.
Brand & Designer
In 1994 Mariví Calvo and Sandro Tothill started designing and manufacturing hand-made wood-veneer lamps from a small studio in Valencia’s historic centre. The originating idea behind Luzifer emerged on a summer's evening where, while working over a light table with thin sheets of wood veneer, the translucent effect was so startling it immediately challenged them with the idea of applying this to a new style of lighting. Officially the company was not formed until one year later, the first lamps being purely for personal use. They were so impressed with the results and so curious to see how other wood types would look that they began to make a small collection of lamps which ended up in friend's houses or sold, obliging them to make more.
After refining their technique in reinforcing the veneer so as to make a sturdy shade from such fragile material, they decide to set up an exhibition in the Trapezi Theatre Valencia where more than 230 lamps switched on a crowd of over 400 people. On the main stage 30 lamps had been 'converted' into works of art by some of Valencia's leading painters, comic artists and designers to create the main attraction of the evening. Those evenings of artistic creativity were the spark that pushed us towards considering a longevity in what they were doing.
In 1997 they were introduced to a young designer called Miguel Herranz. Miguel's enthusiasm to work with such a distinct material gave birth to a new and fresh range of lights which consolidated Luzifer on the market and lifted them to the level of others in the lighting industry. The following year Ray Power arrived, another young designer with a great interest for infinite shapes. In 2007 they changed thier name from Luzifer to LZF.
Presently Sandro Tothill is responsible for all aspects related to production, public relations with clients and their export department, while Mariví Calvo creates and directs the image presented by LZF. Together they decide which designs will be selected and put into production in order to project LZF's image and philosophy. Since that time their brand changed their name to LZF and has grown to become one of the world’s most respected boutique lighting companies. Despite their growth, some things never change. They still call Valencia home (although they’ve moved out of their studio and into a charming old winery). Mariví and Sandro still make everything from hand. And they still believe nothing diffuses light as beautifully as natural timber-veneer.
The Nut suspension lamp was one of their first creations. Even today, you can still find this model in their collection. The annual catalogue of LZF has become a must-have publication, brimming with inspirational, as well as aspirational, photography. The catalogue is a valuable resource for architects and designers looking to utilise LZF lamps. For the past 20-years their team has enjoyed all the challenges, the ups and downs, the friendships forged, and the sheer act of creating beautiful light. They hope the next two decades are just as exciting.
LZF's wood veneers are selected to reveal the best natural wood grain effects when illuminated and all have been sourced from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council - FSC. Nothing comes close to the beauty of these veneers as a diffusion material and no other veneer treatment gives the strength and the protection to the material without sacrificing the delicacy and subtleness that this natural material communicates when illuminated.
Mariví Calvo (Valencia, 1960) holds a degree in Art History and Fine Arts. She continued her post-graduate studies at the Pratt Institute, New York, specialising in the collagraph technique. From 1986 to 1992 she exhibited her art on both sides of the Atlantic basing her studio in New york, Madrid and Paris. When in Paris in 1991 she began to write and work on “The Kitchen Woman” a surrealist dance performance in which she worked on the costumes and set design and whose results also gave her a large amount of source material for subsequent art exhibitions using a mixed technique of photography on canvas paintings.
In 1994 she co-founded Luzifer Lamps along with Sandro Tothill, a company making handmade wood veneer lighting fixtures. Sandro is an Australian musician escaped from Queensland. Since then she manages the company with the help of Sandro and has developed and directs all aspects of the creative art department of the company. She has designed some of the companies more emblematic lighting fixtures, such as The Totem, The Cosmos, The Guijarros and the Gea collections, as well as been responsible for the design of all the company’s exhibits and with the help of Lekuonastudio creates the company’s prize winning campaigns.