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The Heathridge Story: Making a Masterpiece

No Casablanca ceiling fan better exemplifies the perfect synergy of innovation, artistry and craftsmanship than the Heathridge. Quite simply, it is a masterpiece among the exceptional. This is the story of how it came to be, from inception to completion.

Conceived by Christophe Badarello, Casablanca’s lead designer, the Heathridge began with an idea for fan housing that—initially, at least—seemed almost basic: a housing made of wood. Real wood that, according to Christophe, “would celebrate the rustic, but still be versatile enough to go with a range of decors.”

But the logistics of using real wood for a fan housing proved challenging indeed. Christophe ordered various types of wood. He cut and carved this way and that. He cross-sectioned large chunks and explored how a fan motor might fit inside them. And of course, he consulted with his design team, with Casablanca engineers and with people outside the world of ceiling fans. After a time, however, the jury was in: “A wood housing just wasn’t going to work,” said Christophe. But that didn’t mean giving up. When Casablanca designers have an artistic vision, they find a way to bring that idea to life.

The best way to imitate nature is not to copy it, but to use nature itself.

CHRISTOPHE BADARELLO
LEAD DESIGNER

The most important aspect of his vision was to create a particular look with the wood grain itself, so Christophe made certain decisions based around that objective. Inspired in part by the long-weathered condition of wooden fences—the kind you can still find out in the rural West—Christophe knew that such a look simply couldn’t be imitated by drawing it. “The best way to imitate nature is not to copy it,” said Christophe, “but to use nature itself.” He would have to carve the wood, create a weathered look somehow—and then make a cast of it.

The first step was to sculpt the wood into the shape of the housing. He did so by hand-turning it on a lathe, then wire-brushing the wood to create deeper grooves. The next step required true innovation: How to weather the wood in a way that replicated decades of exposure to sun, wind, ice and rain? The solution involved “opening” the grain, eroding the inherently softer aspects of the wood (as would occur in a natural weathering process) while retaining the harder elements to accentuate the grain’s peaks and valleys. He then used different finishes to make that contrast and depth even more pronounced. With the faux finish perfected, the wood housing could be cast and molded out of a more resilient composite.

Christophe’s vision for the Heathridge was far from complete, however. What about the blades? Here again, Christophe wanted to use solid wood—not a laminate overlay. He did just that, hand carving the planks and opening the grain as he had with the housing. The ultimate challenge, though, was figuring out how to make the housing match the blades. They were, after all, made of different materials. After months of experimentation with different finishes, Christophe was satisfied. And the Heathridge was born.

Today, the Heathridge speaks to people as it spoke to Christophe from the beginning. There is a quality you can feel in the weight of the carved blades alone, but there is something else. Perhaps it is the fan’s nod to a more pastoral past while stepping exultantly into the present. The look of seasoned wood that has endured the elements over time and, rather than being forgotten, has become cherished.

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8 New Designs. 1 World-Class Collection.

This unique conglomeration of designs is representative of an array of lifestyles, passions and attitudes.

These pieces are not just ceiling fans – they are centerpieces for any room in your home. Each has been handcrafted thoughtfully, carefully, meticulously. For the 2016 Casablanca Collection, our designers allowed their imaginations to run wild, gathering inspiration from places as far off as the constellations, or as nearby as an orchid in bloom. These fans were designed to serve as a focal point that inspires a room’s entire look and feel.

 

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Every etch and brush stroke, brimming with human touch, preserves the beautiful imperfections that maintain the authentic detail that went into the original design. We treasure the experience of bringing these designs to life –the initial burst of inspiration, the raw, unfiltered sketches, the vigorous engineering process – making the inside of these fans match the beauty of the outside, and finally, the immeasurable satisfaction that comes from looking at the final product for the very first time.

The 2016 Casablanca Collection is for the bold and the fearless. These ceiling fans can serve as the focal point that inspires a room’s entire look and feel, or they can be the final thought that ties everything together. Whatever the purpose, we are confident that you will find your perfect match for your home here, with Casablanca.

Discover the 2016 Casablanca Collection.