The Loaded Trunk was founded by Jonna Robison, an interior designer with a deep curiosity and passion for traveling the world, connecting with artisans in different cultures and sourcing unique and beautiful objets d’art. Published seasonally, the magazine features a curated collection of travel, lifestyle, nature, art and design inspiration for a life well lived.
inspired by nature
bring it home
The Beautiful Beaches of Laguna
A Luxurious Escape to the Sahara Desert
Swedish Strawberry Cake
One of my favorite companies to utilize in my design work is created entirely from an idea to a finished product at Hammerton, a high-end lighting company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. What impresses me deeply is the fact that Hammerton fabricates both the metal work AND the glasswork all under one roof. The company employs 20 glass artisans (mouth blown glass as well as cast glass and kiln glass), 20 metal fabricators and 20-30 experts in paint and finish. Each piece is made by hand in their factory in Salt Lake. It’s an amazing process and the artisans are extremely talented. Hammerton designs three collections: 1) Studio Collection (a predetermined set of fixtures with a selection of finishes/options), 2) Signature Collection (fixtures are customized where anything is possible) and 3) Contract (fixtures for hospitality/commercial projects).
It was an absolute delight to sit down with Utah native Levi Wilson and learn about his fascinating background and how he came to be Cofounder of Hammerton. He currently serves as Vice President of Design and is the creative flame behind the many gorgeous fixtures shining in beautiful residences and commercial spaces all over the world.
Wilson’s office is captivating, with, beautifully rendered sketches everywhere (he draws them by hand, the old-school way), as well as elements of designs in process for new creations in the works. I loved getting a sneak peak of new fixtures coming soon! Touring the factory is also inspiring, with artisans at work fabricating metal and blowing glass. It is a hive of activity and production, and the results are exquisite!
During our discussion, we completely lost track of time, caught up in the lively, inspiring conversation that occurs with two rights brains go down the rabbit hole in the design world. We both returned to our homes with our creative brains swirling and found it difficult to fall asleep!
Wilson grew up in a home where the creative arts were prevalent. His father was an ornamental iron craftsman and his mother was a seamstress. He worked as a youth in his father’s shop and learned to make his own clothes at age 6 or 7. He says, “I was exposed to two different worlds: The brute force needed for blacksmithing and the complete opposite… the finesse, detail and softness associated with sewing clothes.”
Wilson’s unique background and formative years, immersed in craft and design from a very young age, developed his creative mind and honed his attention to detail, shaping his career path.
After high school, Wilson began studying at the University of Utah, with the plan to study architecture. He went to Europe to study abroad and, while traveling in France and Italy, he was deeply impressed and informed by the ornamental iron works and architectural details that are so prevalent and took so long to create. “I came back with much more of an appreciation for metal work and what could be done, as well as for design and architecture in general.”
Upon returning to the US, Wilson and a friend took a long road trip up the west coast. A visit to the historic Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood, Oregon, where he noticed the beautiful, handcrafted iron lighting fixtures. He says, “The beginning of Hammerton was actually that visit to Mt Hood. Coming from Europe, and a very decadent society, to Timberline Lodge, which was built in more of a wild west era, and seeing the duality between the two different constructions methods was a very good visual contrast for a case study. I loved how, at the lodge, the design was very crude… rawhide stitched with thick lacing, so raw and bold. That crude workmanship was the core principle of frontiering the West.”
Wilson and a friend started a business called Mountain Moose Design. They fabricated roof racks and bumpers for SUV’s, which led to building mailboxes, fireplace screens, candlesticks and fixtures for second home clients. The timing was good, as the Olympics Games in Salt Lake were approaching and there was an increase in construction in Park City, as well as a growing second home market. Hammerton was born in 1995.
To read the interview with Levi Wilson, check out the Winter 2020 – Park City issue of The Loaded Trunk. Click here to subscribe and gain access to the entire TLT library!
July 7, 2021
The Loaded Trunk is a travel and lifestyle magazine founded by Jonna Robison, an interior designer with a deep curiosity and passion for traveling the world, connecting with artisans in different cultures and sourcing unique and beautiful objets d’art. Published seasonally, the magazine features a curated collection of travel, lifestyle, nature, art and design inspiration for a life well lived.