First Look: Pipe Dreams

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What do an industrial pipe and a piece of crystal have in common? I trekked out to Greenpoint to find out. I arrived at entertainment lawyer turned designer Michael McHale’s compact 425-square-foot studio-slash-lab on Greenpoint Avenue and saw how he morphs lowly plumbing pipes into dazzling chandeliers dripping with crystals. Here is his new Crystal Gear Pendant that he will be showing at the Architectural Digest Home Show from March 20 to 23. Photo: Wendy Goodman

And here is the 3-D printer that performs design miracles. McHale’s design career started with the simple frustration of not finding any light fixtures he liked for his own apartment. His aha moment was at hardware store when he realized that not only did he like the utilitarian look of the pipes, but standard pipe parts and lighting fixtures actually fit together. In other words, you can screw a light bulb into a pipe opening. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Case in point: These standard pipes are in the process of becoming light fixtures that will be part of McHale’s Raw Collection, shown at the Architectural Design show. Photo: Wendy Goodman

McHale was working on this 42-inch hanging fixture, part of the Raw Collection, during my visit. Photo: Wendy Goodman

McHale’s Raw Collection chandelier is the canvas framework on which designers and artists can express their vision. Here is the Chandelarium edition, a collaboration with Matthew David, that comes with faux foliage. Clients are encouraged to add their own additions like the daisies shown here. A third edition of this fixture, from floral designer Carlo Bermudez, will debut at the Architectural Digest show. Photo: Courtesy of Michael McHale

Here is his majestic, outdoor Beacon chandelier. Photo: Wendy Goodman

First Look: Pipe Dreams