Sean Nelson

Wesley

A light at odds with gravity, Wesley is a wall sconce that appears to effortlessly—and impossibly— float like a steel balloon, tethered to this world only by its bright yellow cord.

When designing Wesley, I wanted to use materials with contrasting natures: cold steel, warm woods, and a single bright pop of color that allow it to simultaneously define a space, and blend into it.

Wesley in the studio

Magnet & Mount

The magnet I used is a rare earth ring magnet capable of holding 130 lbs. The walnut magnet cap was spun by a craftsman in Cincinnati, OH. Not only was it a tricky form to spin, but the front wall needed to be as thin as possible to keep the bond strong between the magnet and steel sphere. We got the thickness down to an amazing 1/16" for it to hold.

Wesley Sketches Wesley Table Wesley Lathe Wesley with the Bearcat

The Sphere

Getting this part made custom was a bit out of the question because of tooling costs, so I purchased a full steel sphere and worked with a local metal fabricator to cut the opening for the diffuser and finish its surface in preparation for powder coating. The sphere weighs about 12 lbs because of its thicker walls, but in production it would be considerable lighter.

The sphere's diffuser was laser cut from 1/8" frosted acrylic. Tiny 1/16" diameter magnets were drilled into the thickness of the acrylic along its perimeter to hold the diffuser in place.

Wesley Hero Wesley Face

Cord & Cleat

The cleat for the cord was CNC'd out of a block of walnut, hand sanded, and finished with tung oil. Wesley's cord is an exagerrated length to reach far outlets and, when paired with the cleat, can be draped in interesting arrangements and orientations—allowing the user to further design his or her space with something that is normally hidden from view.

Wesley Anchor