My love affair with Kabak Lamps

Friday 31st July 2015

I had the pleasure last month of visiting my great friend at her house up in the mountains near Bodrum, Turkey. Whilst we chatted and caught up, she told me of a small village close by which produces some of the most exquisite gourd lights, or 'Kabak Lambasi' as they are known locally.

 

We pottered along late one afternoon, wandering down a dusty side street until we arrived at a small entrance. My word, it was like Aladdin’s Cave and the Tardis rolled into one. Larger on the inside than I first thought and chock-full of the most beautiful Kabak lamps in all shapes, sizes and colours.

 

I call them Cinderella lights – by day they look slightly drab and dowdy; but at night with the flick of a switch their true beauty is reveled   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kabak lamps are made by hollowing out and gently sun-drying vegetable squashs or gourds. Once the Turkish sun has baked the exterior of the gourd into a hard carapace the men start the design process. They create intricate patterns using small tools to poke through the skin of the gourd – rather like an elaborate dot-to-dot – and then insert a tiny coloured glass bead. Each design is bespoke and dependent on the shape of the gourd.

 

 

When turned on the lamps emit a soft, warm glow that creates a very soothing quality of light. As a decorative feature they work brilliantly. The mixture of shadow and light they create on walls or ceilings is magical. I love being able to create warm washes of light within rooms, I feel it makes for a more intimate space.

 

 

I was thinking that these would work so well as a table lamp in a family room, as a decorative feature in a bedroom or, for the smaller sizes, as a child’s night light.

 

You can get them re-wired to take a UK three pin plug. Or simply attach to an adapter.

 

These lamps really resonated with me. I think it’s the beautiful combination of man and nature which results in something unique being created; it’s watching them have a deep understanding of their craft and it’s the rawness of the finished result . Just glorious.

 

If your interest has been piqued, and you're not planning on visiting Turkey anytime soon, then have a look on www.etsy.com for 'gourd lamps'. Or try www.sukabakbodrum.com. I have not purchased from either of these sites so you would need to ask all pertinent questions before placing an order. 

 

Happy shopping and 'tesekkur ederim' (thank you) for reading. 

 

Georgie 

 

 

 

 

 


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My love affair with Kabak Lamps
Fri 31st Jul 2015

I had the pleasure last month of visiting my great friend at her house up in the mountains near Bodrum, Turkey. Whilst we chatted and caught up,...

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