Light changes everything.
When it’s sunny outside, our spirits lift. When golden hour hits, there’s magic in the air. When darkness envelops, the right lamp sets the tone: maybe it’s dimmed for movie night, bright for a dinner party, soft for a nightcap. Light creates beauty, and it’s what Aqua Creations founder and designer Albi Serfaty has dedicated his life to.
Sipping a negroni over video from Jaffa, Israel, Serfaty reflects on his studio’s 30th anniversary, which it’s celebrating in 2022. “The weeks are flying really fast and then the months and then the years,” he says. “I feel like I’m just starting, but it’s been 30 years already.”
Aqua’s products—which range from floor and table lamps to ceiling and wall pendants, all using luxurious fabrics that diffuse the light and give a delicate, ambient glow—are unique not only in their aesthetic but in their creation. Each piece is handmade from start to finish by the same artisan; if the person working on your order is away on vacation, for instance, that piece is not touched until he or she returns. It results in a personalization, a through-line, and a deep attention to detail.
“We are family,” Serfaty says of his staff, some of whom have been with him essentially since the beginning. “There are some people who are almost in retirement, and they keep on coming. You see their lives—with a wedding or with a kid.”
Aqua’s most famous design is the Morning Glory Floor Lamp, which stands nearly 42 inches tall and is made with crushed silk that is gently wrapped around a metal frame. With a slight curve at the neck and a blooming head that resembles its namesake flower, Morning Glory is a show-stopping statement piece in any room. And special for Aqua’s 30th anniversary, Serfaty has revamped it using a rare form of Indian silk.
“It’s our iconic lamp,” he says of the Morning Glory. “We found this silk that is not [usually] for exporting; it is for kind of self-use. And it’s made from the leftovers of the pure silk, and the result is thick threads that are kind of hard. The result is a really amazing fabric.”
Given today’s fast-paced world; given the industrialization of consumer goods; given our need to receive things as fast as possible, Aqua’s slow, steady approach to design is almost novel. But this isn’t gimmicky, and it isn’t a fad—quality products made by hand have a place in our society (and our homes) today and well into the future. You might just say we’ve seen the light.