The Raiz Pendant is part of the first lighting collection of ames, which was developed in partnership with Studioilse. Combining a refined minimalism with the depth of the natural materials and fine textures that are the result of the finest Colombian craftsmanship, the table lamp showcases the ames philosophy in a completely new way. The pendant features a handmade, cone-shaped ceramic shade with a glazed inside that creates warm, gentle light. To contrast the solid nature of the clay, Studioilse chose handwoven details which are crafted from the fibres of the Iraca palm using ancient-old techniques. Complementing the organic quality of the design, a textile cable connects the fixture with the eclectic outlet. The upper side of the shade comes in five colours (black, terracotta, trebol green, olive green and pasto green), while the inner glaze shimmers either in white or black. The woven detailing can be either black, natural beige, or earthy brown (moreno). For the cable, you can choose between black, beige or brown.
Raiz combines two crafts with a rich tradition in Colombia: the ancient pottery techniques and the skill of transforming simple palm fibres into intricate decorations. Two different pottery techniques are used to create the shades depending on the finish. For the lights with black ceramic lamp shades, ames collaborates with two family-owned businesses based in Tolima, a province that’s been a centre for pottery making and ceramic production for over 300 years. Their workshops employ members of more than 70 families, of which many have become specialists for specific production steps – from clay digging to kiln firing to polishing. Making each shade takes weeks, as every step of the process is very manual – our artisans don’t work with pottery wheels. It all starts with the raw material: black clay. This clay type is typical for the Tolima region, where it’s dug out of the ground next to the banks of the Magdalena river with spades. It’s then mixed with water to create the mixture which the artisans mould by hand. Between each step, the clay needs to dry for multiple days in the sun at a certain temperature as there are no drying rooms with air conditioning in these traditional workshops to speed up the process. If the weather suddenly changes, a whole batch of unfinished works can be ruined. Once they are completely dry, the lamp shades come into a wood-fired kiln, in which the temperature is kept lower than usually, making this a very energy-efficent, sustainable process. When they are done, the surface of each shade will be unique, reflecting how the artisan has worked with the clay. In the last step, the artisans polish the smooth areas of every item with semi-precious stones to give them a subtle shine. All Raiz lamp shades with coloured glazes, including the terracotta and green variants, are made in a ceramics workshop, following a different artisanal process. These shades are also hand-moulded, but burnt at a higher temperature to give them their glossy finish. The woven detailing is made in the Departamento Nariño in South West Colombia, where working with the natural material Iraca has a long tradition. The preparation of the material takes six days and the weaving of the decorative pieces another two days. Historically, the artesanos weave hats, bags, purses, ornaments and individual one-of-a-kind pieces with the fibres of the palm. The fibres are dyed using natural methods with seeds, leaves, nuts and roots and some mineral materials are also used to create different colour sections. After the dyeing process, the fibres are drained and need to be left to dry for several days. Only then can the artesanos process the material. With the help of tweezers, needles and tongs, they weave all elements by hand.
Design duo Ilse Crawford and Oscar Peña run Studioilse, a multifaceted, multidextrous design studio based in London. The team consists of thirteen international creatives with a range of skills spanning from interior design to product design, architecture, creative direction, strategy and writing.