Calabarte is the pseudonym of a Polish artist named Przemek Krawczynski, whose art takes on a peculiar but incredibly beautiful form: cool lamps. The name itself is a portmanteau of two words – art (obviously), and calabash, the fruit that carries his imagination. The calabash is a bottle gourd originating in India, although Calabarte gets his supply from Senegal.
Due to ancient domestication and usage, the bottle gourd has an incredibly tough outer shell. In the past, the gourd’s usage was defined mostly as a water container, due to having a tough, smooth shell with an ergonomic shape for handling, and natural buoyancy on water. Nevertheless, it’s edible both raw and cooked, and used in various cuisines.
But Calabarte’s usage for the gourd has to do with neither eating nor drinking, but rather, carving. Yes; he offers various cool lamps – from table and floor lamps to hanging ones – made entirely out of a carved calabash with a halogen bulb in it. With a background in architecture and a great mind for both mathematical detail and design, Calabarte’s patterns seem flawless – an interwoven combination of lines and holes that create splendid geometric art reminiscent of medieval pattern art, prior to the renaissance.
Due to the combination of dark, thick material with a light source within, the primary art of his work, however, shines in the dark. When the lights are off, and the lamp comes on, it bursts through the patterns and superimposes itself on the walls, creating beautiful images, ranging from giant butterflies to world maps, and intricate dotted ribbons.
Hard work, beauty, an exceptional degree of detail and a marriage between mathematical geometry and a rampant imagination – all imprinted onto the husk of a Senegal calabash. That is what Calabarte’s pieces are all about, and his skill and talent is definitely awe-inspiring.
Described as the art of light, Calabarte’s artistic tendencies truly took off in 2009, when he made his first gourd lamp, by chance of coming across a calabash. Despite that, however, he considers science to be the foremost inclination in mind. He studied building engineering, and worked in an architectural studio prior to quitting in 2010 and devoting himself to lamp-making after a trip to Senegal brought him a good supply of African calabashes.
When he’s not making cool lamps, Calabarte partakes in a number of physical activities, enjoying life through sports, travelling, and making music.
*** 2011-08-31 – Update ***
I have received many messages asking where to get those great lamps. The best answer that I can give is to check with the artist with the link that you will find at the end of the article. Thanks!
*** 2011-09-01 – Update from Calabarte ***
Thank You for all this such nice comments!
I see here a lot of questions about possibility of purchasing my lamps.
I don’t know how many people will read this comment.
All my lamps I make for sale.
For all info please contact me by: firstname.lastname@example.org