These unique pendant lights evoke an alternate sensory universe

Have you ever seen lights like these before?
Jan Dallas photography. Duncan Meerding Design

Lights can do so much more than just serve a purpose, their form can add character and soul to a room. Inspired by his natural surrounds, Tasmania-based artist Duncan Meerding of Duncan Meerding Designs crafts unique feature pieces highlighting the tactile nature of the materials used.

Crafted from salvaged timber, which would have otherwise been carted off as firewood, the cracked log stumps are multi-functional and can be used as stools, mood lights or tables.

(Credit: Jan Dallas photography. Duncan Meerding Design)

Duncan, who is mostly blind with only 5% of his sight remaining, pays much attention to the relationship between shadow, light and light dispersion. He also creates each piece with longevity in mind and uses eco-friendly pieces while relying on handmade techniques and small-scale production to produce each light.

Cracked log stumps (Credit: Jan Dallas photography. Duncan Meerding Design)

The pendants are also made from salvaged timber and all have unique characteristics.

One of the newest designs, the Propellor is made from Eucalypt and comes in a flat-pack design that can be easily assembled. Dramatic shadows are cast through the 8-blade form.

Tasmanian Eucalypt propellor (Credit: Duncan Meerding Design)

Vivid Sydney

Duncan’s unique lights were showcased in an ‘Art Forest’ installation at Sydney’s Vivid Festival in 2023. The installation included 16 light vessels comprising of 10 Stump Lights and 6 2-metre tall Trunk lights. In a series of Instagram posts, Duncan explained that each of the Stump Lights features carvings determined by the natural cracks and contours found in the salvaged macrocarpa timber.

“Drawing from my experience of being in an Alternative Sensory World, this calm space is influenced by the Tasmanian natural environment,” he wrote.

Duncan’s work is beloved not only by art curators but by interior design lovers, including Lucy Glade-Wright of Hunting for George and the design team behind The Rox, a luxury boutique hotel in the centre of Hobart’s MidTown neighbourhood.

Bed in a boutique hotel apartment with a Duncan Meerding pendant light overhead.
Duncan Meerding’s Propeller Droop pendant is a design feature at the newly refurbished The Rox boutique hotel in Hobart. (Credit: Photography: Adam Gibson via The Rox Hobart)

More of Duncan Meerding’s creations

Stump Light

Duncan is best known for his Stump Lights which can be installed indoors or outdoors. They are made from salvaged wood and inspired by the dappled light effect often found in nature. The Stump Light won Best Floor Light at the International DARC Lighting Awards in 2018.

Horizontal linear down light by Duncan Meerding

Horizontal Linear Down Light

One of Duncan’s more recent designs makes the case that rustic and minimalist ideas can indeed be combined to create something truly unique and spectacular. The Horizontal Linear Down Light features a light recessed into a piece of scrub timber that, when hung in a home, looks like a levitating tree branch.

Cracked Log Wall Sconce

The Cracked Log Wall sconces were first launched by Duncan in Euroluce in Milan in 2019. The light can be directed up or down to create directional light for a staircase or soft mood lighting in a living room.

Cracked Log Pendant Lights

In 2014, Duncan debuted the Cracked Log Pendant Lights as part of his solo exhibition ‘From the Side’ at Salamanca Art Centre. They can be hung in a group, or alone to create a statement.

Log Bankers Lamp

The Log Bankers Lamp is inspired by the silhouette of traditional bankers lamps but subverts it by contrasting the raw, salvaged wood of the lamp shade against the smooth, polished wood of the base. “This design combines the rustic with a polished modern feel perfectly,” wrote Duncan on Instagram.

Related stories