Calabash Lamp Calabash Lamp

Calabash Lamp

Calabash Lamp

Have you ever been in Sphinx (it's the name of a restaurant chain in Poland)? If so, do you remember these colourful calabash lamps? When I first saw them - a long long time ago - I wanted to make my own lamp, except that I wanted it to have a more natural look - without all those colourful beads.
Calabash Lamp/Lampa z Tykwy
The execution of such a lamp requires a bit of effort, however the end result is worth it.

To make the lamp you'll need:
- A dried calabash.
- A pencil and a template for your design.
- An electric multi-tool with different sized drill bits, a cutting blade / mini circular saw bit and some grinding stones.
- Wood files (if you don't have grinding stones).
- Wood stain in the colour of your choice and a paintbrush or sponge.
- A bulb of the correct size to fit the calabash, a bulb fitting and a length of cable with a plug.
- Sisal twine to wrap the cable.
- Insulating tape.

Let's begin:
1. Cut the bottom of the calabash using the cutting blade, and then grind off the edges. The hole must be large enough to easily mount the light bulb.
2. Clean the inside of the calabash by removing the seeds and pulp.
3. Very close to the stem, drill the hole through which you will draw the cable. The closer the hole is to the stem, the easier it will be to wrap the stem together with the cable with the sisal twine. Be careful, however, not to damage the stem as it can easily fall off.
4. Use the pencil to sketch your design on the calabash.
5. Drill holes along the pencil lines you have just sketched. Grind off the edges of larger holes.
6. Using a brush or sponge apply a coat of the wood stain, wait until the stain is dry and apply a second coat.
7. When the calabash is dry, drag the cable through the top hole. At the end of the cable mount the bulb holder.
8. Measure a length of cable from the bulb to the hole so that the bulb is placed centrally at the widest point of the calabash, making sure that it doesn't touch the inner calabash walls. With the bulb in place, note the point on the cable which lies inside the calabash just before the cable passes through the upper hole. Wrap this point of the cable with insulating tape to thicken it, so that this point of the cable is blocked from passing through the hole. In this way, when you hang the lamp on the cable, the bulb will remain at the focal point of the calabash, and the weight of the lamp will fall on the insulating tape instead of the bulb holder.
9. Tie the sisal twine to the stem and then wrap it around the cable. Continue wrapping the cable with the twine until you reach the plug. When you are done wrapping hide the end of the twine.
10. Close to the stem create a loop by pinching the cable and securing it with sisal twine. In this way you can hang the lamp.
11. Mount the bulb and enjoy your new lamp.

Below you can see my oldish lamp...
Calabash Lamp/Lampa z Tykwy
Calabash lamp, more details.

Calabash Lamp/Lampa z Tykwy
Calabash lamp, more details.