EVERYTHING STARTS WITH
The gourd 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 more homogenous than the structure of the standard wood; it does not contain growth rings, fibers or knots. When light passes through the thin layer of the gourd’s wood, it becomes red/orange.
The gourd is kind of a phenomenon in nature; it gives enormous processing possibilities. As gourd is created by nature, each one is one of a kind.
I create lamps using gourds from Senegal, Guinea, and Mali because of their finest quality and shapes.
HOW I CREATE
The first stage is obviously skinning the gourd and cleaning the inside.
Although I have always had artistic inclinations, first and foremost, I have a scientific mind. I guess that is where my passion for geometry, order and harmony in my designs comes from.
In case of such geometrically complex designs, to get a really beautiful effect, everything must be drawn with mathematical precision.
I usually design the lamp pattern right away on the gourd, on previously applied grids. One of my favorites are spiral grids (Nephentis, Leaferis, Escher’s Leaves). In the Ammonitis floor lamp I used the construction of a golden spiral.
Sometimes the designing stage is the longest and the most difficult, but most of the times the carving and the drilling are the most labor-intensive.
Once the pattern is designed I engrave the contours. The next steps is marking the place of every single hole and painting of the gourd.
For carving I use precise high-speed air turbine and dental bits (read more on my BLOG). Some parts of the work have to be done in darkness to control both the depth and the thickness of the wood (it may be less than 1mm thick at some places).
Having completed the carvings, the drilling stage begins. To achieve the best possible light effects, every single hole must be drilled precisely in the direction of the light source. In some of the bigger floor lamps like Nepenthis, the number of holes may amount to nearly 30.000.
The last but not less important stage is creating the base. The most characteristic are the spiral bases of my table lamps with the open-work carved endings.
Every Calabarte lamp is created solely by me. Only the wooden bases of the floor lamps are created by Lech Kostyszak from the Unique Wood Design.
I PUT MY HEART
In Every Lamp
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” − Ralph Waldo Emerson
For me, the quality, the perfection of the finished lamp, self-fulfilment, and satisfaction from my work are most crucial – they are more important than the number of lamps I can create. That is why I never repeat their patterns; each of my handmade lamps is matchless, extraordinary and will not be imitated in the future.
What I love about this job is the complexity of the whole process and the variety of undertaken activities including geometry, drawing, engraving, painting, gourd and woodcarving, drilling holes and working on the base.
Currently, creating one lamp usually takes up to 3-5 months of work.
THE ART OF
I’m happy that my lamps can be something more than art, namely the decorative arts.
By day Calabarte lamp is a unique sculpture. However, at night it comes alive by the light seeping through intricately carved wood and passing through thousands of holes. Ornamental shadows fill the space, casting the patterns on the walls. It can create a dreamlike, romantic atmosphere in the bedroom as well as calm and peaceful mood in the home office or living room.
Though I am the architect of the lamp’s shape and pattern, the artist who puts life in it, what makes the lamp exceptional is the light itself. The light is a surprise, an illusion made real; it never brings boredom for it changes with every move of its source and the surroundings it is casted on.
More interesting articles about creating my lamps you can find of my BLOG.
Since 2018 I use LED, 12V, light bulbs in my lamps.
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.
FROM CHINA TO USA
I am very happy that apart of many Internet publications, my lamps were also presented in the printed magazines from countries such as the USA, Morocco, Israel, China, Malaysia or Jordan.