Lamps for Change

Blog Wfg Lamps03

You could be forgiven for not noticing the colourful array of lampshades hanging in Wood Fire Grill as we know your attention is usually on our hearty food, but these lampshades are very special and are made from a surprising material.

Made as part of the PET Lamp project, with bases in Columbia, Chile, Ethiopia, Japan and Australia, each lampshade is unique and takes a piece of plastic out of the rubbish cycle and into a more creative purpose.

Each lampshade has been handcrafted using traditional weaving practises from a combination of plastic drink bottles and natural fibres.

Here at Wood Fire Grill we love that we are supporting a group of artisans who are taking something that has a small life in regards to use (once the bottle is empty it is often discarded), but a very long life in regards to breaking down, and creating something beautiful.

PET Lamp started in 2012 with the aim of creating a product that could be mass produced by hand, and when considering one of the biggest waste issues of our society, they quickly settled on the plastic bottle.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8910″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]The project takes one of the biggest pollutants of our waterways and oceans and transforms it into a lampshade worthy of being the centrepiece of any space.

Most importantly The PET Lamp project also employs the skills and creative artistry of local artisans in each country it has partnered with – Columbia, Chile, Ethiopia, Japan and Australia.

The lampshades created in each country reflect the historic weaving traditions of the people making them, and the result is a safe and fair working environment for the artisans in which they can teach these handcrafts to the next generation.

In Colombia the artisans weave with palm tree fibres brightly coloured with natural pigments, or natural wool fibres, and often work as family units.

Lampshades crafted in Chile have more muted tones and are woven from natural wicker grown, dried and prepared by local families on their land. The PET Lamp project offers employment to women caught in a conflict-stricken area and allows them to pass on weaving techniques used for more than 500 years.

The lampshades made in Ethiopia feature bright colours, mandala-like patterns and are often wide and broad in shape. They are woven from a mix of the plastic bottles as well as specially prepared and coloured grass.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8917″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]The Japan base of the PET Lamp project is unique in that it the lampshades are made from bamboo which is cut and prepared by hand. The project bridges the gaps between basket making masters and those who wish to learn the technique.

Japanese weavers would once take on apprentices, with each apprentice learning from a master for 10 years before completing their own projects. The change in demand has shifted this tradition and as a result many handcrafts are being lost.

It is hoped the beginning of this project in Japan will give new life to old traditions, and the lampshades created are simple yet intricate works of art.

The Australian branch of the PET Lamp project is based in the Northern Territory where the community work with dried and pandanus and palm leaves dyed with roots and soil pigments. The colours are earthy and the Australian weavers worked together to create two largescale pieces representative of community and family.

To read more about the PET Lamp project, visit their website.