Evan Wood has come up with a surefire way to ensure originality: let the customers supply the materials
Evan Wood's work can be found around town, including the sconces at Capitol boutique.
Evan Wood uses antiques, such as this piece of wrought iron, to create artistic and stylish lighting.
Evan Wood has a knack for making the old new again. He often gives new life to antiques or uses unconventional objects to create distinctive lamps. "Clients might have something they brought back from Europe, or something they found at a flea market that they want incorporated into a piece," says Wood, owner of Charlotte-based Chandelier & Light. "The more unusual the better."
In one instance, an old fish trap, of all things, served as artistic inspiration. "It was the kind that sits at the bottom of a pond," says Wood. "I cut it up and made two chandeliers out of it."
The quality and uniqueness of each finished product has paid off in a steady stream of business. "When I started, I probably walked twenty miles putting out door fliers," says Wood. "I also sent mailers to all of the interior decorators, electricians, and antique dealers in the phone book. But ever since then, it's been word of mouth."
Examples of his handiwork can be found around the city: a chandelier at Pizza Peel, sconces in Capitol's dressing rooms, and fixtures in NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson's motor coach.
Chandelier & Light, which is run from a workshop in Wood's home, caters primarily to interior designers and antiques dealers, but Wood estimates about a quarter of his business comes from homeowners.
In addition to crafting one-of-a-kind lamps, Wood does wiring and lighting repairs and creates custom light fixtures. "I love the challenge of the work," says Wood. "I love to come across something I've never seen before or never had to think about before, and figure out how to get it back to the way it used to be."
Wood launched Chandelier & Light in 1993, just after graduating from UNC-Charlotte with a degree in mechanical engineering. That background coupled with an interest in artistic detail and design proved to be a winning combination in a rapidly changing city.
"In the beginning, it was like the perfect storm—in a good way," he says. "Charlotte was ideal because of all the building and expansion that was happening."
The variety of the work keeps him going, even in a sluggish economic climate. "I get excited about anything new that comes along, and there are always new things coming," says Wood.
See page 50 for more information about Chandelier & Light.