green design, eco design, sustainable design, Calabarte, gourd lamps, recycled materials, recycled lamps, organic lamps

We normally associate gourds with fall and Thanksgiving centerpieces. The curly squash, usually in oranges and greens,  fill baskets around the USA, decorating doorsteps, porches and interiors. Calabarte takes this folksy craft-like decoration, and turns it into an element of high design.

The fruits are hand-dried, and are sourced from their indigenous African and Asian origins. Using different sized cutting tools, Calabarte hand-perforated holes, pattern and lines into the gourd’s dried skin. Being organic, the skin is somewhat translucent when lit from within, so white wood pieces are inlayed to create both decorative design, and opacity.

The gourds are cut in half, to create a wall lamp, or kept in their entirety and attached to stands – which are often bound in decorative rope. The light fixture inside is accessible through small trap doors that are held closed with tiny magnets.

When unlit, the lamps appear as gorgeous sculptural pieces, in organic browns, whites and rusty reds. When illuminated, the magic begins. The gourd’s skin glows with organic viscous textures, in addition to Calabarte’s intentional carvings.  But the shadow is perhaps the most magical part, casting surreal patterns on all that they touch.

Calabarte’s organic gourd pieces are one of a kind, and available by emailing

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