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When talking about Calabarte lamps, one should start from the gourd. Calabarte lamps are made of the finest quality, carefully chosen and the most shapely gourds. The gourd itself is the annual tropical vine originating from Africa and Asia. Its dried, lignified fruits are used for various, both decorative and practical, purposes. The structure of dried gourd is entirely different than the structure of the standard wood. It is more homogenous; it does not contain growth rings, fibers or knots. The external layer of the gourd is harder than the deeper one of a light wood.
For that matter, the gourd is kind of a phenomenon in nature; it is the raw material that gives enormous processing possibilities.
In the past, Krawczyński was using two varieties of gourd growing in Poland. However, since his trip to Senegal in 2010, he has started creating his lamps only from the round African varieties.
Today, to obtain the best possible effect, the gourds for Calabarte lamps are imported from Senegal, Guinea or from Mali (these can be found on La Case à Gourdes website.)
As each Calabarte lamp is one of its kind and the patterns never repeat, creating one lamp usually takes 3-4 months of work.
From the very beginning till the end, every single lamp is precisely designed and made by the hands of only one man – Przemek Krawczyński (only the wooden bases of the floor lamps and three bases of the table lamps have been made by Lech Kostyszak from the Unique Wood Designs.)
Firstly, he carefully designs the pattern of the lamp. Each and every is originally drawn using grids, geometric constructions, curves, figures and solids charted with mathematical precision. The ratio of the sculpted areas to the surfaces that shed light is also diligently reconsidered. This guarantees harmonious, coherent pattern that yields the perfect play of light.
Each lamp is fully handcrafted in the 0,5cm – 1cm thick gourd, beginning with initial sketches, outlining and charting the pattern, through the gourd processing, like cleaning, engraving, precise marking the place of every single hole, then painting, carving, perforating, creating the base of the lamp and, at the end, the assembly of the whole lamp.
Every lamp is covered with thousands of holes drilled by hand, and although the diameter of the smallest holes is 0,8 mm, even their placement is carefully designed.
To achieve the best possible light effects each single hole must be drilled presisely in the direction of the light source. In some of the bigger floor lamps it can be nearly 30,000 holes.
From 2015 Przemek has also developed his authorial perforation technique which consists of merging and furcating, connecting and disconnecting waves or curves.
As a result, by day Calabarte lamps are the eye-catching, luxurious sculptures, while at night the rays begin to draw the fractal, labirynthlike landscapes on the walls and the objects, setting the boundaries of the immaterial territiory.
The light seeping through intricately carved wood and passing through thousands of holes can create dreamlike, romantic atmosphere in bedroom a well as calm and peaceful vibes in home office or living room. Regardless of place, the play of light is feast for the eyes.
As the gourd is carved, perforated and approximately only 7mm thick, of course it can break in case of hitting, falling down etc. – just like any other fragile thing in our houses. Also, like in the case of any expensive pieces of art, one should take precautions and remember that not every room might be suitable for exposing the lamp.
Despite its differences from the ordinary wood, in many ways it feels like dry wood. It will definitely not rot if kept in normal, dry air conditions. Of course, the lamps should not be weathered. Every single Calabarte lamp is sent with all the maintenance tips.
Thus, as long as you obey hints mentioned above, nothing can happen with the lamp and it can last for years.
In the past the standard E14 230V light bulbs were used in the Calabarte lamps.
From a Table lamp XVI onwards, halogen light bulbs G4 12V 20W are used.
Each lamp is equipped with power supply:
Input: 100-240V (lamp can work with any mains electricity)
Output: 12V, 2A
Output power: 24W max.
Plug type: C
If needed, an appropriate type of plug adapter can be added.