New York City-based Ana Kras uses leftover cotton threads to build unpretentious yet complex lampshades that are as beautiful as they are practical. The Serbian designer makes each lantern by hand, focusing on unique shapes and abstract patterns. With her first collection in the works, we spoke with the multi-talented artist about her gorgeously earthy, one-of-a-kind shades.
You describe your Bonbon lamps as a family of lanterns. When and how was the original Bonbon lamp first conceived?
The first Bonbon was made in my apartment in Belgrade in fall of 2009. I was working on another lamp and had an extra lampshade frame sitting on my kitchen floor for weeks. I think that object was in the corner of my eye for too long, so I subconsciously thought of how to make something out of it. I got the idea of wrapping cotton threads around in a certain way and tried it and that's how the first Bonbon lamp was made.
How long does it take to construct each lamp?
First, I have frames built by a metal manufacturer and then powder-coated or plated and then it's time for my handwork. It takes about twenty hours of patient work to make the smallest one, and much more for bigger ones.
From where do you source your cotton thread?
So far, I have been using the leftovers from a Serbian knitwear company called Ivko Knits. They were so kind to support me at the very beginning. In fashion industry, things change very fast; each season brings new color palettes and the old threads are stored or thrown away. It's a nice gesture to recycle things. If, by any chance, someone who works with knitwear reads this and wants to collaborate, please let me know!
How has the Bonbon evolved since its initial creation?
Each new Bonbon is different from the previous one. I am always trying new shapes and new patterns. Lately, I have been into abstract patterns. I am also developing many new shapes and some more complex pieces consisting of multiple parts. So far, I have been making Bonbon’s usually per request, but I’m working on making a first collection, with small editions of each lamp.
* Prices are based on size and start at $1300.
The Bonbon lamp is available at anakras.com
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