Gourdlight brings Halloween home in true African style

Fruit bowls came into being when humans first discovered that fruit and vegetables can be used for more purposes than simply satisfying hunger. Since then, we have been using carefully assorted fruits to serve as centerpieces at dinner settings or simply an accent piece that makes an empty side table look more played up. Oversized fruit like gourds and pumpkins have even been used us lanterns in Halloween decorations and perhaps that is what inspired designer Robert D to create this wonderful and exotic lamp called the Gourdlight.


The handmade lampshades, like their Halloween counterparts, are made using actual hollowed out gourds though the ones used here are native to Africa. The designer used carefully selected dried shells of the exotic fruit and created the stunning lampshades by drilling perforated patterns in them to let the light out.

This allows the lampshade to display an interesting play of light and shades since different part of the fruit’s dried shell have been carved with perforations of different diameters. The wooden stand that holds the lampshade up is also carefully carved with shallow and deep layers and a line of waxed jewelry strings is used to decorate the lamp. When lit, the lampshade looks like it is painted in a yellow, orange and black paint scheme.

Each Gourdlight is unique in the sense that the perforations and patterns on each are quite different which makes each piece in the collection one of its kind. The geometric light that the lampshade emits is also very reminiscent of classic Islamic design and we see such patterns repeated and used extensively in religious buildings like mosques and even buildings of historic importance that are spread throughout Africa as well as the middle east and Asia.

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