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. Then the lamp is powder coated in order to ensure the longevity of its color. In the case of the gecko lamp, the frame is then wrapped in abaca twine, with the feet and the tip of the tail exposed, giving the lamp definite contrast.
The abaca plant is fast growing and resembles the banana plant. The species matures in about 18 to 24 months and consists of 12 to 30 stalks from a central root system. Each stalk grows between 12 and 20 feet high. Different parts of the plant make different products such as abaca rope, twine, or paper. Abaca contains a special quality, because it will re-grow from the same root system after being harvested and it can be grown within the rainforest without destroying critical habitat.