Our colour-extraction processes have been refined over a long period of time, and we are constantly blending, refining and experimenting. It is a work in progress, and a fascinating journey into what is possible to achieve using natural materials.
Sol in particular has a very intense affinity with colour. She is a painter and her semi-abstract large-scale paintings are an exploration of colour and the rhythms of nature. When she started learning about natural colour extraction, and seeing the results she could achieve, she found the process hugely exciting, and considers this process as another expression of her art.
We use a huge array of different plants and roots – some foraged locally, some we grow in the garden, some we have to buy. The foraged ones include Queen Anne’s lace (also known as wild carrot), almond husks, sobreiro oak, pomegranate and ivy. We grow Dyer’s Chamomile, Woad, Laurel and Madder, as well as various fruit trees that provide interesting colours (cherry, plum, peach, apricot, walnut, elder and apple). We occasionally also use vegetables such as onion and beetroot.
All our blues come from Indigo Tinctoria and woad. The whole process is lengthy, and does not always work out, but when it does it is hugely thrilling! It is important to be very patient – amazing what a wonderful teacher nature is.
We feel that using plants to give life to our lamps through colour bestows them with a very special added dimension. And the glow of the light through the natural colours is magical - it has a vibrancy and depth that the synthetic cannot achieve.
That’s why we talk about lamps with SOUL.
One of Sol's huge landscapes, 'Eternal Rhythms of Nature'. Oil on canvas.