The spare beauty of the Wald Lamp strikes a balance between sculpture and function, its off-kilter simplicity never stark or cold. That’s the sweet spot for Los Angeles designer David Okum, the brains behind Feltmark, a brand that that creates “emotional, significant, quality everyday objects”.
It’s that emotional strength that lends such presence to Okum’s work. It’s where the name comes from: ‘felt’, the intangible reaction; ‘mark’ signifying lasting value. Throughout school, Okum contracted for larger commercial companies, the allure of executing his own vision proving stronger than “reinterpreting what a sales team said would sell well.” It also proved stronger than school itself, as he left to start his own studio a year before graduation.
Starting his own studio offered what corporate design work couldn’t – the chance to find and refine his own design identity. For Okum, that means creating products that “wouldn’t exist unless we did it.” Transparency and craftsmanship also come into play, with Feltmark’s website detailing the making process, illuminating the behind-the-scenes steps to creating the Wald collection. Aluminum is precision bent and bead blasted to refine the texture, later color anodized to “increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of the metal.” The result is a deeper finish that’s also more durable, and ages well. Ultimately, that’s Feltmark’s endgame: to create beautiful, functional pieces of lasting value.