NOVA of California’s mica shade panels are made of the same natural mica minerals that were quarried and used by iconic lamp makers of the Arts and Crafts period.

“The American Arts and Crafts movement was inextricably linked to the British movement and closely aligned with the work of William Morris and the second generation of architect-designers, says MetMuseum.org.

These included Charles Robert Ashbee (1863–1942), who toured the United States, and Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857–1941), whose work was known through important publications such as The Studio.”

NOVA Mica Mineral Lamp Shades

Constructed with a mix of mica mineral flakes and organic shellac, each mica shade we create gets its inherently unique appearance from patterned mineral deposits and crystal colors.

Californian coppersmith, Dirk Van Erp was the first to make mica lamp shades in 1910. When illuminated, the shades give off a warm, fire-like glow popular in the early 1900s.

In 1962, the sons of the founders of NOVA visited the first Salone de Mobile. Milano show in Italy looking for ideas to provide overhead lighting that would not require an electrician or punching holes in ceilings or walls.

NOVA Lighting Designer’s Who Loved Using Mica

In Milan they met with Achille Castiglione and bought one of his first Arco lamps and exported it to California. In the late 1960’s, Peter Morelli emigrated from Vienna to Los Angeles and joined the NOVA design team where he worked to develop this arc lamp idea for an American market. Peter was a master woodworker and was intrigued by modern design. 

In 1998, Mervyn Weitz joined the NOVA team as its Creative Director and built upon Morelli’s arc concepts and incorporated elements of the Arts & Crafts spirit in the Mica, 3-lite arc lamp. With a background in woodworking and industrial design, Weitz created many of NOVA’s best selling and most unique designs that continue selling to this day.

Owner of NOVA since 1992, Daniel Edeliest remembers Mervyn, “[He]always said he wanted to create the warm glow of a fireplace in much of his lighting designs. He did just that bringing the Mica 3-Light Arc Floor Lamp into existence as well as many other lighting designs.

Mervyn was a dynamo and worked with NOVA until his death at age 80. He was excited by what he could create in China, Mexico and the U.S. and saw the great potential of LED technology as a game changer in lighting design. Up until the end, he injected a spirit of excitement in lighting design, the production process and new technologies into his work.”

Mica mineral lamp shade – Mica 3-Light Arc Floor Lamp

Why use Mica to craft translucent lamp shades?

When mica minerals are paired with a light source, you get the following effects:

  •  Gives off a fire-like glow when illuminated.
  • Brings a sense of soft beauty to any room.
  • Promotes serenity.
  • Produces a marbled look with firey veining.
  • Derives its name from the Latin word “micare” that translates “to glitter” in English.
  • Possesses a unique look not achieved in other minerals.

Other Cool Things About Mica Minerals

Source: Amazon

Where is Mica quarried?

Two India regions, Bihar and Nellore of Madras, hold over 50% of the Mica mineral deposits quarried worldwide. Additional countries with major amounts of Mica quarried include Brazil, Belgium, and China.

Does Mica have healing properties?

Long used to diminish chaotic energy, mica possesses healing properties that are thought to calm the mind while improving intellectual capabilities and mentally engaging tasks.  Mica is also thought to resolve dehydration and induce sleep.

Is Mica harmful?

Inhaling Mica in powdered form can be harmful and poisonous. However, when Mica is used in the creation of lampshades, it is not dangerous.

NOVA: Manufacturer of Mica Minerals Lamp Shades

Founded in 1923, NOVA is a designer and manufacturer of decorative lighting for residential, hospitality, and designer installations.

As the oldest currently operational lighting company in North America, we are famous for our intriguing mix of materials, finishes, and modern forms not seen before. Valuing craftsmanship and minute attention to details, we continue to launch new lighting designs throughout each year. Today, NOVA still produces mica mineral lighting designs.