One of the most famous Cocoon lamps is the “Gatto” designed by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1960. The lamp is still for sale in design shops. More info on the FLOS website. (external links open in a new window)
Two other Cocoon lamps made by Goldkant Leuchten
Many thanks to Ger for the beautiful pictures and the enthusiasm.
Goldkant Leuchten Cocoon Onion Pendant Lamp
Materials: Round lampshade made of plastic “Cocoon”, a polymer, sprayed on a curved metal wire frame. White painted Bakelite E27 socket.
Cord Length: 40 – 80 cm / 15.74 – 31.49”
Height: 40 cm / 15.74”
Width: ∅ 50 cm / 19.68”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 75 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Friedel Wauer.
Manufacturer: Goldkant-Leuchten Fritz Wauer GmbH & Co. KG, Dieselstraße 30, 5600 Wuppertal, Germany.
Other versions: This Goldkant Leuchten Cocoon onion pendant lamp exists in many forms and sizes.
Many people think that these lamps are made of pig’s bladder, it is not, of course it is a polymer.
The company was founded right after World War II in 1946. The first name of the company was Cocoon-Leuchten International. Goldkant Leuchten also produced ceramic lamps. Designers of Cocoon lamps: Shultz, Baum. The company ended business in 1994.
Many lamps you find in this polymer with a label from other companies such as Aro Leuchte, Josef Brümberg and Raak, to name a few, were all made by Goldkant Leuchten.
Fritz “Friedel” Wauer who is credited by FLOS for devising the technology of spraying the material onto iron frames, was inspired by the “self-wrapping” of a silk worm, hence the naming “cocoon”.
However, the first one who used this kind of material is George Nelson in 1947 for his Bubble Hanging Lamps. The technique had been developed for mothballing naval ships. A technique that is still in use. George Nelson referred to these lamps as “one of those happy accidents which occur all too infrequently in the designer’s experience”.
In the late 50s Arturo Eisenkeil from Merano, today in Marling, brought the technique to Italy and together with Dino Gavina, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Sergio Biliotti, Carlo and Tobia Scarpa, Ignazio Gardella, to name the most important designers, the FLOS company was born.
In 1974 Goldkant Leuchten received 2 iF design awards for Cocoon lamps.
One for the Orsa pendant lamp and one for the Ulvsunda.
Links (external links open in a new window)
Emerging from a Cocoon: The Story Behind the Beginning of FLOS
Cocoon mothballing company in The Netherlands
Other Cocoon lamps
Artimeta Lugano tripod cocoon floor lamp
Cocoon lamps in the FLOS Catalogue
How these lamps are made by Eisenkeil for FLOS – impressive video!