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A quiet light

The lamps at Kahawa promise a mellow glow

Designer lamps to light up your home. - Photo: K. Murali Kumar

QUIET, UNASSUMING light is really about how you look at the world. In the middle of your room or in the corner, this lamp is sure to impart just the right incandescence — fragile and soothing. And the light from within will create room if you thought there wasn't enough. Harshavardhan, the ceramic artist, has his lamp of endless possibilities on show this week at the Kahawa Gallery for Design.

The lamp shades, mostly handloom silk fabric, radiate a light that is not hard on the eye, translucence being their essence. You can pick the circular, square, rectangular or triangular forms. The fold to the triangular form is intriguing. It carries an added geometry that makes all the difference. While the white and off-white are pleasant and elegant, the blue and yellow shades are colourful without being loud. And none of them are the Chinese canopy style that has been around for sometime. For that reason, they are unconventional.

The ceramic base, some of it is glazed in its entirety, and some in dots. The earthen feel is in between. You can choose from the gloss or the earthen or both. The base is also triangular, mostly, while some come in squares. The shades and the ceramic base that carry different colours connect and separate at the same time. There is the natural harmony helped very finely by a very visual copper line in between.

Ceramic creations

The lamps promise not to cloud the surface they light up because the shades come in silk, unlike synthetic that is loud, and the base is pleasant, mildly colourful, and compact. Harshavardhan sees the lamps as a modern extension of traditional ones. The geometry to them in no way cuts into their bare simplicity "because the purpose is to ensure that the lamp does not overpower space and takeover the dιcor". The lamps being vertical ensure that. They are beautiful for that very reason.

What one will like is the absence of metal. Harshavardhan is convinced that one cannot innovate with metal as much as one can with ceramic. Clay allows for natural room, reason why the triangular base looks attractive. "The lamps are a play of geometry that are fresh.

They are not contrived overtly... my idea is to lend importance to translucent light..."

Varied lamps

There are floor lamps, table lamps, hanging lamps, up-lighters and wall-washers that impart translucence. The up-lighters, akin to torches kept vertically, throw light on to the ceiling, while the wall washers pep-up corners. The idea is to savour a comforting light these lamps radiate. It would not do if there were another light around.

As Harshavardhan puts it, plain light is functional, while light that comes from within a fabric, of silk, and off the ceramic, is homely. That light is aesthetic. That it appears is why the natural fabric, and the form, particularly the triangular one, in these lamps promise a classy interior, Harshavardhan says one would not find in lamps that use fibre or glass.

If one is looking for a "play of geometry that emits a natural mellow glow", one could take a chance on the lamps at Kahawa. There are a range one can choose from paying anywhere between Rs. 950 and Rs. 4,500. Kahawa can be contacted on 22088004.


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