Design we love: black cat lamp

We were both attracted and, at first, a bit put off by the funky directness of this little lamp. Its tasteful black shade is profoundly belied by the body of the map—which is a feral-looking black cat-made of fired clay!

We like its creative imprecision, its ambiguity. We thought it was maybe a beaver or a muskrat (or a warthog?), but Ron Fraser, of REC/Art History, where we saw the creature, assures us it’s a cat. “It even has a title,” he told us. “Tom Cat. It’s scratched on the back.” And its cat-ness is reinforced by the fact, Fraser points out, that the filial—the little sculpted doo-dad holding the shade on at the very top of the lamp—is a dog. A tiny dog. All dogs probably shrink to almost nothing, faced with an Alpha Tom Cat like this one!

This wonderful macho catlamp—which costs $125.00—was made by an artist named Bill Steward, who is a professor of ceramics at the State University of New York at Brockport. If you want to see more of his work, you can go to his website at

REC/Art History is at 1080 Queen Street West.