Aero Series

Aero Series

Aero is a collection of five lighting pieces made of aluminum aerospace pieces and walnut wood, representing the magnificence of the universe and mother earth. It is an exploration of reusing and repurposing with a mid-century influence.


Aero’s signature elements were produced by Lockheed Missiles, Space and Propulsion Company in California. As Lockheed closed in the 1970’s, all its pieces were sold to the junk yards around the Burbank area. The lamps incorporate zinc chromate aerospace components, each with their own story. Maybe one of them landed on the moon with the rocket it belonged to… Maybe another fought in the skies above Europe as a part of a WWII P-38 Lightning aircraft…

Like my many other creations, the Aero Series also brings wasted, trashed materials to life. Instead of decaying in the junkyards, pieces that once were used to make airplanes or spacecrafts now get back to life for different purposes.

This is Aero No: 01
A table lamp.
Maybe a little bit more.

Germany. 1944. Pasadena born fighter pilot Markus Elber plunged his Lockheed P-38 straight into a barrage of enemy anti-aircraft fire knowing it was the only way to save his squadron. Maybe it was a miracle. Maybe it was fate. Maybe it was this tiny piece of aluminum that kept the plane for falling apart as he leveled out hard over the tree line. But somehow, he survived.

After the war, when the American planes were put out to scrap. They were dismantled and sent to junkyards in Burbank, California. Maybe Marcus’ elder son Vincent spent days and days there looking for that piece from his father’s fighter plane, that tiny relic to which he owed his very existence. And who knows, maybe that precious aluminum piece has found a new body in this table lamp.

Maybe in the home of this lamp’s new owner, at their bedside, it will start illuminating the pages of an old book they read. And maybe, without anyone noticing, it will brighten one of the darkest moments of World War II history.


This is Aero No: 02
A pendant lamp.

Maybe a little bit more.

July 20, 1969… 8:18PM… The Apollo XI mission landed on the surface of the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin while Michael Collins orbited above. Those three brave astronauts left their landing and service modules on the desolate lunar surface, returning to earth in the command module, Columbia.

Many small parts of that legendary spacecraft are infused with the signature design of a the Lockheed corporation. When the Burbank Lockheed plant closed in the 1970’s, all its remaining parts were delivered to nearby junkyards. Some of those parts have been revived in the body of this lamp.

Maybe they were among the ones that made the Apollo missions possible. Maybe they were the pieces that helped the scientists build the first solar satellite Vanguard 1. Who knows, maybe they were broken and unusable so they never made it to space and they've just been biding their time, basking in the Southern California sun all these years…


This is Aero No: 03
A pendant lamp.

Maybe a little bit more.

After the attack at Pearl Harbor plunged the nation into a World War, the West coast of the U.S. was on high alert. As one of the most strategically important military manufacturing facilities in the country, Lockheed had to prepare to defend itself from potential airstrikes.

An emergency meeting was held . Colonel John F. Ohmer proposed a crazy idea. He suggested covering the entire plant with camouflage netting so that it would look like a suburban subdivision when viewed from the air. There was a long silence. His superiors probably thought the Colonel was joking. But no one had any better ideas. Ohmer got the authorization to take action.

Under his leadership, a team of set designers, landscape artists, painters, animators, carpenters, lighting specialists and set workers from Hollywood studios covered the entire area with a gigantic blanket painted with fake roads, trees and houses.

Lockheed continued its production under the cover of what was maybe the largest scale art piece in all of history. And maybe, the aluminum component that this lamp is made of, was manufactured in that very same plant, underneath the shade of that immense tableaux.


This is Aero No: 04
A floor lamp.
Maybe a little bit more.

For David and Elizabeth, it was love at first sight. David was a tall, handsome young man with adventure in his heart. And even though she was born in San Francisco, Elizabeth dressed like a lady of French high society. Her dearest dream was to strut down the Champs-Élysées swinging her long maroon skirt.

One morning, David told Elizabeth that he had a surprise for her. He blindfolded her and drove her out to a hangar at Buchanan Field Airport. When he removed her blindfold, her bright blue eyes were greeted with a little two-seater airplane painted an almost blinding yellow. The plane had been left to David by his father, a World War II test pilot who somehow convinced his colonel to let him fly his plane home. What had been a war plane was about to become a love plane...

They first went to New York, and then Canada, Greenland, Ireland and finally France… It was a dream come true for Elizabeth. She was walking on air, almost breathless as the two finally strolled the Champs-Élysées together. David gently held her hand, looked in her eyes, and got down on one knee. Producing a velvet box from his pocket, he asked that eternal question which would bind them together forever…

Today, David and Elizabeth still live together happily in a house in Los Angeles, California. The yellow Big Dipper 34 that accompanied them during the most unforgettable moments of their lives has since moved on. And maybe, without even noticing, it creates the body of this lamp, which will soon be illuminating its new home.


This is Aero No: 05
A wall lamp.

Maybe a little bit more.

While her friends were playing with baby dolls and teddy bears, Libby used to look up in the sky and dream. Their home was close to Los Angeles International Airport, right along the landing route. She was always mesmerized by those gigantic metal birds floating through the air above them and decided that one day, she would be the one flying them.

Libby believed this dream with all her heart. Some thought she was crazy. This was the 1950's. Woman didn't fly planes in those days. But there was one person who always believed in her: her grandmother. After she graduated from college, she took flying lessons and impressed her teachers with her skills. In an astonishingly short time, she got her commercial pilot's license. When she was sitting in the pilot’s seat for her first commercial flight, waiting for the signal, she noticed a lone figure watching her departure. Underneath a light blue scarf and behind dark sunglasses was her grandmother, proudly saluting her granddaughter.

Maybe it was a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar that Libby's grandmother waved her hand to… Maybe the huge wing that Libby eventually hung on the wall of her bedroom also belonged to that same plane… And who knows, maybe the pieces that create the body of this lamp had been a part of that plane which was eventually dismantled and delivered to junkyards.


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