I'm a lighthouse addict! Seriously, I drive my family nuts on a regular basis shouting out the name of a lighthouse that briefly flashed on the TV screen. I love the history of lighthouses and the stories of their keepers. I'm fascinated by how vital lighthouses became in helping my adopted country become the great nation that it is. I'm drawn to the variety of architectural styles and the engineering challenges of building these great edifices and of course, I simply love the varied and beautiful landscapes these important structures are built on.
As many Harbour Lights collectors know, I joined the Younger family in 1990 by marrying Bill and Nancy's daughter, Tori Dawn. Bill, Nancy and their oldest daughter, Kim, started Harbour Lights in 1991. Not long after, I became involved in helping find artists capable of translating Bill's vision for the fledgling line into the great collection it became. After several years of voluntary labor I became the full time director of product development. This involved designing all of the Harbour Lights pieces, working closely with the sculptors and painting artists and overseeing the quality of the production.
So you can imagine how sad I was with the shutting down of Harbour Lights. It really did leave a hole that was hard to fill. For months I would have dreams in which I'd be frantic because I hadn't designed any new lighthouse for the collection. I'd find myself trying to work out what new piece we could possibly release, only to realize upon wakening that I sadly didn't need new pieces. Over the last few years I have continued to design and develop giftware product for various companies around the world. Of course none of them have been as near and dear to me as the Harbour Lights collection.
I sat down in my studio some time ago and decided to sculpt a lighthouse just for the fun of it. My sculpting skills were quite rusty. It took several versions to come up with a piece I was happy with. The art director in me constantly battled with the artist.
Art Director "No! Those bricks are not straight. Do it again",
Artist "How straight should those darned bricks be?"
Artist "What do you mean the tower is crooked? It looked good to me"
Art Director "Crooked, the darned thing is positively slanted"
Art Director "That tree looks like a stick of broccoli"
Artist "Broccoli?.. What do you mean, it's a majestic oak!" and so on.
Ok, there was a lot of internal dialog going on but eventually I finished the piece and showed it to my wife and Bill who both pronounced it worthy of being in the Harbour Lights collection. After that stamp of approval I decided to make a mold of the sculpture and cast and paint it.
The question being asked of me by friends and family was what I planned on doing with the piece once it was finished. I've been nurturing the idea for a while and here's what I was thinking. I would like to sculpt four to six pieces a year and offer them to you, Harbour Lights collectors. The edition size will be very limited, ultimately no more than 500 pieces each. My ambition is to keep this collection small and manageable with the emphasis on beautiful well crafted sculptures as opposed to a large collection that needs staff, offices, a warehouse and all the other complications that come with size. Keep it small, keep it simple.
As this idea began to gel, I contacted the owner of the company/factory who so competently produced the Harbour Lights Collection for many years. I enquired of Jack, the owner, if he would take on the production of this collection. I was stunned to hear that he had closed his workshop. I'd spent many happy weeks over many years in that factory working. with all the wonderful men and women, training them and honing their skills in order to produce the pieces I wanted.
After contacting several other factories and realizing that I wasn't going to find the skill levels needed I went back to Jack and asked if there was any way of getting the top casters and painters back together and start producing these pieces for me. Well, to cut a long story short, the band is back together. We now have a small group of the best painters and casters any art director could dream of and they are ready to start the production of the first piece in this tiny collection.
This collection will be sold under the name of Harry Hine Studio, as I don't have the rights to the Harbour Lights trade mark. But, as you can see, the pedigree of these pieces is intact.
The first piece in this collection is going to be Jones Point VA. We have been asked by hundreds of collectors to add this piece to the Harbour Lights collection and so finally here it is.
Jones Point VA
Edition size: 300 pieces
Size: 7" wide, 5 " deep, 4 1/2" tall.
Release date : End of May
Yes, only 300 pieces. My hope is that the sculpture will be sold out before it even arrives on American shores.
Allocation of the piece is going to be on a strictly first come basis. If you have a preference for a certain edition number, request this with your order and I will do everything possible to accommodate you. However, please note that Bill has called dibs on #1!!
To secure yours, please head over to my website and reserve your piece today. I ask that you put down a $25 deposit.
Many thanks for bearing with me on this somewhat rambling letter.
As Bill would say, "Keep the Flame"