Claus Bolby

Claus Bolby

Born: 1944 - Died: 2011

Claus Bolby was actually a fly technician, but worked more creative in his spare time with many different materials and forms of expression. These mixed media activities and his technical skills brought Bolby into lighting design, and one of his first tasks with lighting designs, was the recent built and very modern Strandby Church in northern Jutland.

The lights were designed to symbolize a Danish priest’s collar with acrylic staves, (lamellas) radiating from a metal tube. These church lights were very large, measuring 80cm in diameter and called Præstekraver.

At the age of 23 in 1966 Claus Bolby started the production of a smaller version of the church light for private use. It was produced in acrylic of various colors. The production started in Bolby’s basement, in his home in Silkeborg, together with his wife Jytte. He sold them through different shops under the title Symfoni. For the next ten years he kept producing variations of the Symfoni.

In the late 1960s, Claus Bolby performed all kinds of chemical experiments with the acrylic staves, left over from the Symfoni production. Thus began the production of Bolby’s completely original lamp design, called Vega in 1968. The small lighting factory was called Cebo Industri ApS, and Bolby’s next lamp models were given numbers rather than names, perhaps reflecting how fast the project was moving. From 1969, Cebo produced the lights and sold them to Lyskær Belysning, which sold increasingly popular lamps on under their own name.

In the early 1970s, the lights became so popular, that Bolby was producing lights for other leading Danish lighting companies, including LYFA and Nordisk Solar Compagni – later distributing the Symfoni among other lights.

The Cebo Industri production moved to a larger factory in Silkeborg, in 1974, as the international demand rose. As the interest of the colourful acrylic lights fell in the 1980s, Bolby started a production of technical lights and spotlights. Production was sold in 1995, and eventually phased out a few years later.

Claus Bolby and his wife Jytte continued with special lighting for the visually impaired, until his death in 2011.

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