What came first, the idea or the egg? About a year and a half ago, the photographer and lighting designer Roberto Rodriguez was sketching a commission for a brass lamp when, after several earnest doodles, he drew an oval. Something about the top half of the shape's gentle contour felt right, and so he set out to replicate it, a design that would eventually morph into a line of pretty products called the O Series.
"In the beginning, we found it really hard to produce a shape with a certain elusive quality," said his wife, Meaghan Rodriguez, on the phone from Barwon Heads, Australia, where the couple runs the multidisciplinary design firm Reduxr (redux being a nod to their vintage sensibility; the pair particularly like the functional beauty of mid-century modern pieces). "Everything was too machined, too round, too perfect," Meaghan says. "One day, after some failed attempts with emu eggs [they were too small], he showed me an ostrich egg and said he loved its organic quality," she says, extolling the egg's asymmetry, the way it wonkily swoops in "and feels really beautiful and sensuous to hold."
Ostrich eggs are indeed magnificent. At roughly 24 times the size of hen's eggs, they have a freakish prehistoric quality and, fun fact: they require two hours to hard boil. Used to make vessels for thousands of years (after being vessels for ostrich babies, of course), they're also extremely resilient because they have to support a mama ostrich's 140-kilogram fanny. Intrigued by such properties, Rodriguez tried to replicate the egg using a mould, "however something got lost in the process, the 'egg-ness,' I guess," she says.
The real egg won out. Today, its comely curve is the central feature of Reduxr's O Series. The O Lamp, which is reinforced with resin and painted in seven nostalgic hues that recall hard candy – dusty yellow, soft red – gives off a warm LED glow and is attached to a brass base that swivels at a 45-degree angle for a fetching, sculptural effect. O Vessels, meanwhile, are lovely little pots for plants (or doodads) that rest on a brass tripod or cuff. Finally, the O Branch is a wall-mounted light for the ceiling or the wall with lanky, ostrich-like arms.
The O Series O Lamp, $485. Other products in the line include the O Vessel, $95, and the O Branch $1,100 (contact the website for details, as prices vary), reduxr.com.au