Calator Design was launched in April 2016 by Leonard Ursachi, a sculptor and designer from Romania who lives and works in Brooklyn. Seeking to create a nature-inspired, original chandelier for his home, Ursachi cast a section of a tree trunk in translucent, amber-tinted resin, and created a pendant light whose canopy he cast from a driftwood knot. Beacon, the original design in Calator Design’s Arbore lighting collection, was born.
“I was immediately inspired by how faithfully the resin captures the bark’s texture, and its rich variations in hue in response to light,” he says.
The other three designs in the Arbore collection are Écorce, Kouros, and Tattoo. Ursachi fabricates each lamp by hand in his DUMBO studio, making the molds from driftwood he has pulled from the East River, and fallen trees rescued from Prospect Park. He tints the resin with pigments.
“I see the lamps as an extension of my art, as functional sculptures and objects of contemplation,” Ursachi says.
Calator Design also offers Bole, an accent table that Ursachi casts in gypsum cement from a mold made from a tree trunk.
Ursachi grew up in a home built by his grandfather and his father, an engineer. His grandfather made the carved, wood furniture, and his mother, a health sciences teacher, wove the tapestries from wool she dyed with tinctures extracted from plants in her garden.
Ursachi studied visual arts at university in Bucharest, and art history and archaeology at the Sorbonne in Paris. He has exhibited his sculptures and installations in North America and Europe, including a solo show at Romania’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest. In 2015, his sculpture, Fat Boy, shown first at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida and then in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, made several lists of the top public sculptures in New York, including in Time Out New York and curbed.com.