Discarded nitrous oxide canisters are collected from the streets of London for this product. Traditionally part of the catering industry, and more recently consumed a semi legal high, they are a common sight scattered across urban parks, gutters and pavements outside nightclubs.

“I’ve been seeing these canisters littering the streets for ages as I cycle around London and thought it was an incredible waste of a beautifully engineered single-use component. Then the suggestion of a chandelier came from fellow designer Rupert Matthews some time ago and this bubbled away in the back of my mind until last summer. There was a BBC news article about the clear up after Brighton Pride where over 150 sacks of them were retrieved from the beach. We seemed to have reached ‘peak laughing gas’. It seemed a fitting project that I design and develop something beautiful and luxurious. A celebration of the illicit.”

Each NOS SPHERE 228 chandelier uses 228 of these recycled canisters, which are machined, threaded, polished and assembled by hand. They are then given a second life in a chandelier of dancing light. At a glance, the effect is a cloud of pristine mirror finish jewels, but look closely and you can see fine scratches or surface blemishes; subtle evidence of their recycled origins and a textural fingerprint.

The canisters have a ready made droplet shape that lends itself to a hanging sculpture. The reflective surface provides a mirror ball quality that plays to the strengths of the canister. The large perfect sphere has just the right amount of scale and “difficult” about it to produce a valuable, luxurious feeling final piece which in contrast to what is a discarded item found in the gutter.

A single narrow-focus recessed LED spotlight was chosen to illuminate the chandelier providing some drama and ensuring a dappled silhouette below it, magnifying any subtle movement.

The standard spherical design currently comes in 3 standard sizes:

• NOS SPHERE 228, which has 228 canisters and 370mm diameter
• NOS SPHERE 348 which has 348 canisters and 450mm diameter
• NOS SPHERE 408 which has 408 canisters and 490mm diameter

Variations of size, shape and finish are possible, such as combining different grades of canister. Though most are zinc plated, you find some that have a pink lacquer coating and others that are painted. It adds further character to the chandelier to play with this mix. Then there are more specialist finishes such as gold plating for really luxurious environments. Commissions are also undertaken.

Design by Matthew Kavanagh
Manufactured in South London.

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