Design and development process of a handmade table lamp. This is how Carapucha lamp was born
In this article we are telling a design story, a process of research, creativity and development that involved several years and resulted in a very special object, one of which I am very proud of, the Carapucha lamp.
A lamp designed to take center stage and provide warm and intimate mood lighting.
Back in 2015 I started working on the idea of an analogy between the role of a hood as protection and coverage for a person’s head, and the protection and coverage that a lamp provides to its source of light, while directing it at the same time.
I used this concept to shape a design which, in its first version, was meant to be made of a technical textile, the type of fabric used for manufacturing backpacks. This material seemed interesting and consistent with the idea.
In order to build a stable and solid object, I had to find stiffness in a material which does not have it itself. For that end I worked with polygonal shapes and origami folds. However, far from the desired result, this first version stopped with a few unpolished and too complex prototypes. Unable to move on from there, I put the idea off, although the foundations for subsequent models where already in that first version.
In 2017 I took up the project and resolved the natural lack of stiffness in textile materials by combining them with plywood pieces cut and sewed by hand to the fabric acting as an inner lining. By doing so, I expected to obtain a fold-out object, a lamp to be assembled from some flat attachable pieces by simply folding and clasping. It worked, but the process was too niggling and time-consuming, so again I let the idea settle.
A few months later, I decided to solve the design which still looked very attractive on paper. I recovered the original idea influenced by origami and replaced the fabric with paper. By combining it with plywood, I created a simpler version of the lamp with more colorful and modern aesthetics: a new original product with a personality of its own which resulted in the Capucha Lamp. Both the paper and the wood solved the stiffness problem and the final result was a product in itself.
Now, after several years of experience working with solid wood from local chestnuts, I fell in love with this material and use it in every occasion in many different ways. That is why I decided to redesign this product into a table lamp based on the same idea –the hood– but developed with a more elaborate and sculptural geometry.
A refined and calculated design taking its first steps in the technology of three-dimensional modelling and pure geometry.
A shape initiated with the position and orientation of the light source –a 95mm decorative Edison-type LED lightbulb– directing its light ahead and downwards, covered with a 5mm solid chestnut-wood structure. A structure consisting of 17 pieces, 16 triangles and a rhombuses, cut one by one with total precision with all their edges bevelled at very specific and varied angles. To achieve this I had to create templates for those pieces that could not be cut with the band saw. These cuts allow the pieces to form a perfect three-dimensional volume when joined together.
All these parts, made from pieces selected for their grain so that their direction reinforces the feeling of geometric volume, are assembled by hand with great care and patience until they form a stable and solid symmetrical and geometric structure in which all the triangles are joined by at least two of their sides to their neighbouring pieces to avoid weak points in the structure. Once all the pieces have been glued in a slow and delicate process and after a 24 hour drying time, begins a series of hand sanding and subsequent polishing with 2000 grit sandpaper that results in a completely smooth and natural surface which does not need any type of surface finish.
I decided not to use any type of oil, varnish or wax so that the wood matures naturally and ages without any chemicals involved in the process.
Thus was born the new Carapucha Lamp.
A lamp designed to take center stage and provide warm and intimate mood lighting. Above all, a lamp with history in which contemporary design is combined with traditional craftsmanship, technique and precision with the leisurely elaboration using local and sustainable materials. It represents the conjunction of geometry with nature.
An object created with the intention of combining its function as a source of light with its highly personal aesthetic contribution as a result of the contrast of the geometric purity of its design with the use of chestnut wood –a natural, local and sustainable material treated with care.
I hope you liked reading this story. I enjoyed compiling memories and pictures and putting into words this 5 years process that shows (I guess) the evolution of an object and my own, the story of the making of Carapucha lamp.
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