Banana Bowl Series
Fossilized cocoa leaf lampshades
Light made from chocolate? Not quite, but the cocoa leaves used for these lamps are collected from the same plant chocolate is made from.
Fossilization is the process of drying leaves over a three to four month period and then hand rubbing the chlorophyll off the leaf so only the leaf's skeleton remains. This is a labor-intensive process and no corrosive chemicals are used. Once the chlorophyll is removed, the leaf is stained in organic dyes.
Since the leaves are natural, each one will absorb dye differently. The resulting effect is a lamp with different hues and shades (sometimes within the same leaf).
There are a few cases in which the leaf may have a small tear before it is adhered to the lampshade; but due to the low-impact sealant we use, no tear will increase in size nor will any leaf pull from the shade. We would like to point out that only 20 percent of the leaves make it through the entire process for use for our shades.
Once the leaf is stained, it is adhered to a heat resistant backing; similar to the backing found on any standard lamp. The artists cut each leaf to ensure that no leaf will overlap. Finally, we use a strong sealant to ensure the stability and integrity of the shade.
Frame & Body
The frame is constructed from wrought iron, which makes the lamp very strong and durable. The base is then powder coated in order to ensure the longevity of the color. The legs of the fortune lamp are made of real bamboo, which have been hand-stained to create contrast to the bold shade colors. This bamboo is bound and then attached to the wrought iron frame.
After two years of research, we have chosen a species of bamboo which does well in drier climates. Due to the nature of bamboo, at times it may split when it is first introduced into a new environment. For this reason, our bamboo is always bound with twine. Splitting of the bamboo is extremely rare and this separation will not affect the strength, durability, or beauty of the lamp. This is one of the unique aspects of working with natural materials.