LUMI is a new venture, but long imagined project, for Manu Song Batik Art.
Many years ago, not long after Manu’s initiation into batik in The Gambia and during his first years as a practising batik artist, it became obvious to him that the translucent nature of batik on cotton means that, like stained glass, the beauty and vibrancy of the colours are greatly enhanced when illuminated.
Manu’s first attempts at creating lamps to light up his batiks are now rare and treasured objects in the homes of old friends and family. Now, years after putting the idea aside whilst following other artistic endeavours, this exploration of light through batik has been resurrected in the form of LUMI.
The timely discovery of fireproof laminates now means that making safe lampshades is no longer fraught with complications and difficulties and a huge diversity of available shapes and sizes provide an interesting canvas on to which Manu creates his original designs.
And Amber, one of Manu’s two daughters, who is also a batik artist has joined him in the LUMI project to contribute her own beautiful designs.
Lamp Bases - A totally unexpected development and a lucky break!
When you start producing lampshades, you need lamps. You look around the usual places and find that there are hardly any that come anywhere near something you’d love to have in your home. So, you think, “I’ll make some.” And then...”How?”
First stop: a retired antique restorer neighbour, who loves “finding treasures” at car boot sales. Adrian, our neighbour, was on a mission! He regularly turned up at our front door brandishing various interesting items, from old soda water bottles to beaten up old standard lamps, from newel posts to antique table legs, saying “What about this?”
It was the table legs that stood out! Beautiful old oak and mahogany, hand turned and carved in the century before last. They were scuffed and worn, sometimes split and water damaged, but the combination of the eye of an artist, the knowledge of an antique restorer, plenty of cups of tea, feasibility studies, many experiments and loads of elbow grease eventually yielded some very pleasing results.
And then, our family cottoned on to what we were doing and started turning up with defunct old lamps and ever more interesting objects, saying “What about this?
Until, one day our oldest son Sam’s partner, Sophia flashed her phone at us to show us an image of a skip load of antique billiard table legs and said, “What about this? As we “oohed and aahed” at the prospect of getting our hands on such a horde, Sophia announced that the skip load of table legs was due to be delivered to our house in a couple of days, which happened to be on Manu’s birthday, and then she wished him a Happy Birthday!
So, this is how we came to be Recrafters! What an unexpected pleasure! We really enjoy the treasure hunting aspect of salvaging beautiful broken objects from the past that would otherwise end up on the fire or at the dump. We love bringing them back to life, rediscovering the beauty of the wood, the patina of age and the workmanship of craftsmen, now long gone. And we take immense satisfaction in transforming them into functional art pieces that could still be around in another couple of hundred years!