In a professional sense, Jordan Tomnuk isn’t entirely sure who he is. Growing up with a “do-it-yourself-er” father, he and his brother liked making windmills and garden ornaments, and loved making Halloween and Christmas decorations. He took fine arts lessons and enjoyed painting, and got more mechanical as a teen, then studied industrial design in university. When asked for his job title, he replies “I don’t even know anymore” and says that, growing up, he was always balancing between his engineer brain and artist brain. “But I was definitely not smart enough to go the engineer route.”
The only constants have been that he wants to work with his hands, and make his own products. One of his first was a rolling pin, along with furniture and decor items, but when he started Tomnuk Design in 2015, a light went on. “I was always interested in lighting,” he says, “but when I started out on my own, there were a lot of hurdles with lighting, both with accessibility and knowledge, which I worked on through the years. And then in 2015, I made a light, the Divide Pendant, and won a spot in the [International Contemporary Furniture Fair] in New York, and I got more interested in lighting after that show.”
That interest led to more lights and awards for product lines, like his Lune Lighting Collection, a super-slick wall sconce that controls light by sliding an opposing disk open and closed (picture two sliding hockey pucks, or a light-filled Oreo when closed).
Today, with new equipment in a bigger shop where he makes his own “minimalist, pared-back” products, which still include rolling pins (along with tables and salt and pepper shakers), he’s finally found a bit of a groove. But that doesn’t mean he’ll focus on lighting forever. “I get restless leg syndrome pretty quick. I want to move on to the next thing. I kind of wear all the hats, so I’ve got to slow things down and see things through from start to finish, which is beneficial — everything I do, I know inside and out. But I’m definitely always interested in learning and trying something new.”