Wally Kohler is the founder of W. Kohler Lamp Co; a successful and ever growing business. He worked as an Industrial Arts teacher, but then left in 1979 to pursue his craftsmanship full time. The business first started in Tucson, Arizona in Wally’s carport. After many years, and several moves later, the company grew into a 3,000 sq. ft. workshop with a 500 sq. ft. gallery. Although the business has grown throughout the years, the uniqueness and quality of each lamp remains.
In 2004 Skip Kivlehen began apprenticing with Wally. By the next year he became owner of the business. Today, each department is run by a specialist. Donna Clapper manages the making of the shades and is also the sales manager. Patti Greer hand cuts the designs with a plasma cutter and works on custom designs. Each craftsman contributes to the making of each lamp. This ensures that piece of the lamp is made by the craftsman who knows each part the best! We were immediately drawn to Wally’s work….the free form mesquite wood alone is beautiful! To then add the inlaid turquoise and copper shade makes it so unique and truly a one-of-a-kind piece.
Unlike other lamp companies, Kohler’s shades are solid copper. This means no upkeep or waxing is necessary. The finish on each shade is hand applied and high quality clear lacquer is brushed over the entire shade ensuring that it will last and the copper will not tarnish. The edges are hand crimped and there is wire-reinforced framework on the top and bottom. The bases are beautiful hand sanded Sonoran Desert, mesquite wood. A Watco Danish oil finish is applied to each one and crushed turquoise is inlayed into the natural cracks in the wood. Each lamp has a 12 foot cord, so there is no place your Kohler lamp can’t go!
We are very excited to be carrying this artist’s work this year! We all stopped in our tracks as we walked by Wally’s booth…they were so stunning and the craftsmanship was impeccable. These shades are an excellent addition to the gallery and have really molded beautifully to our displays. The rich earthy tones of the wood and the bright turquoise with the patina-ed shade create such a warmth and inviting sensation.
These would make an excellent bedside or living room lamp. A conversation piece for sure!