MATERIALS WE LOVE: MICA
Mica is a remarkably versatile mineral that is widely used in literally thousands of industrial and consumer products. The roof, drywall and paint in your home, the fenders and motor starter of your car, your microwave oven, computer, home security system and even your toothpaste are all likely to contain mica in some form. But at Hammerton, we use mica for one purpose alone: aesthetics.
Indeed, no material diffuses light quite as beautifully as mica. The sparkling effect of mica’s crystalline structure, combined with the subtle variations in color and opacity that naturally occur in the material, lends an ethereal softness to diffused light that’s hard to replicate with other materials. We incorporate mica in fixture styles across all Hammerton collections – from our more rustic Log & Timber and Craftsman fixtures to traditional European-style and contemporary lights.
However, all mica is not created equal. At Hammerton we use high quality mica that offers greater consistency in color and opacity and is easier to fabricate with, which allows for greater flexibility in the design process. For example, when we use mica in circular or elliptical designs (such as drum chandeliers or cylinder pendants) our artisans heat and form the mica instead of bending it, which can create stress on the material and cause it to flake.
In addition to its aesthetic advantage, this luxurious material is also ideal for outdoor lighting due to its durability. Mica can withstand exposure to electricity, light, moisture, and extreme temperatures. When used for outdoor applications, we laminate the material using a UV-resistant film that seals the mica and provides even greater protection from the elements.
Take a look at some of our mica light fixtures in the gallery above, and let us know what you think of this versatile material.