Set The Mood. History of Ambiance & how it influenced the Mediterra Collection. Part 2
There is a saying about lighting, "the bulb provides illumination, and the pendant is the receptacle that tells the story," in short, this is the essence and continued evolution of our Mediterra Lighting Collection. Decorative lighting and decorative lanterns have been an integral domicile invention, providing light within and outside the home for centuries. Before the Fall of Granada 1492 through to the expulsion of Moorish tribes from Spain by King Phillip III, Moorish tin workers, artisans, and carpenters of the Mediterranean and Northern Africa created the first functionally decorative lanterns. Electrification through the incandescent light bulb would not be invented and later introduced into these early lighting designs for another four centuries. The fact remains that these early Moorish creations were crafted so well and with such great detail that elements of their designs have transcended through centuries to influence many of the lanterns, chandeliers, pendants, and other lighting designs created by artisans of today! What is even more incredible is that specific design details of the ancient Moorish tribes can be found in modern designs around the Mediterranean, North Africa, and India. Through the centuries, examples of the Moorish people's inventions and influence have made their way across the Pacific into South and Central America. Most specifically, we have witnessed this firsthand in Mexico. The Moors were initially indigenous Maghrebine Berbers, a group of different ethnicities from North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and the Canary Islands. It's debatable as to whether or not the term Moor is of a distinct or self-defined people. We now know that the Muslims who inhabited areas of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Italy, were an extremely talented mixture of architects, mathematicians, and craftspeople who collectively became known as the Moors.
01. The Flama Pendants in Clear and Amber glass and Queen Pendant in Red glass. Both of these designs from the Mediterra Collection have a striking resemblance to both Moroccan and Turkish Lamps. The creation process could not be more different. All Mediterra Pendants are created primarily from Recycled glass that is heated and hand-blown into ornate iron cages. | 02. An example of a Moroccan lamp as the name states they are traditionally made in Morocco but can also be found as far East as India, nowadays these lights are made primarily form Steel and on rare occasion from Copper and Nickel. Their curvaceous shapes have perforations allowing light to flow out. | 03. Turkish Lamps are made mainly from glass. The colored glass is cut into geometric patterns, then arranged and fused together, creating larger ornate patterns. The caps and bottom pendulums of Turkish lamps are crafted from brass with intricate pattern work. Similar design aspects can be found in each of these 3 examples, yet they are made on entirely different continents across the world.
Before the Fall of Granada in 1492, the Moors conquered all of what is now Spain, Portugal, and most of the Pyrenees region of France. For nearly a millennia from 712AD to 1492, their aptitude for design, architecture, and mathematics flourished throughout the region and abroad. It is astounding that a group of people who lived so long ago were so prolific in the procurement of design, function, and development, not just lighting that is still used to inspire us in the modern-day. In architecture, the distinct archway known as the "horseshoe arch" was developed by the Moors and is commonly found in mosques, catholic churches, Hindu and Buddhist temples, and home designs of all types. They created a tile painting artistry known as Zellige, a technique of chiseling ceramic pieces often colorful into complex geometric patterns, historically debated though visually and timeline-wise it seems very apparent that the art form of Zellige influenced another tile art-form known as "Azulejos". This Portuguese tile art was actually introduced from Spain in the 15th century. Another fact pointing to the Moorish inspiring this art form the term azulejo comes from the Arabic word az-zulayj, meaning "polished stone." No Zellige tile-work from the time of the Moorish occupation survives in Portugal. This is one of many examples that these culturally vibrant and talented people were violently forced out of the region. The Zellige artistry, which inspired the Azulejos art form of Portugal and Spain, now thrives in specific areas of Central Mexico. These historical occurrences where influence and cultural appropriation of art, architecture, and lighting design are transferred from one generation to the next and from one culture to another is the inspiration behind our Mediterra lighting Collection.
01 - 02. A recent trip to Tonala Jalisco Mexico, from a local tinsmith's (hojalatero) factory and shop. This particular artisan creates everything from furniture to extravagant wall art, pendant lighting, lamps, chandeliers and more. The primary material used in all of the creations is??? You guessed correct, tin! We met with this particular artisan to discuss custom designs for a few projects we had been working on, though his creations were profoundly unique, the quality was less than expected. | 03 - 04. Artisan studio and shop of a tinsmith located in Marrakech Morocco, nearly halfway around the world, yet the similarities of the lighting designs, glass, colors, and shapes are reminiscent of those found in particular factories and studios of Central Mexico.
Its All About The Details | Quality Crafted Lighting Consummate with Decorative Hardware.
We have spent years not only developing and perfecting all of the designs in the Mediterra Collection but we have also paid much attention to the functional aesthetics of the individual designs. This starts with incorporating quality UL approved electrical kits these are the medium base sockets made from Dark Brass with a power source of 660 Watt Maximum - 250 Volt Maximum this allows for a very strong incandescent bulb or an energy efficient LED bulb. As shown in example 01. We have incorporated quality made brass and metal strain relief cord grips which are installed on the caps of each pendant light and ceiling canopy. These metal strain relief cord grips have several functions along with holding the electrical in place and reduce any tension applied to the cord, they also help to seal the pendant reducing any moisture or water from reaching the electrical socket. As shown in example 02. The mounting hardware included with each pendant is the metal ceiling canopy 6"in diameter x 1 1/4" thick, each canopy is handmade from metal in the same decorative iron finish as the pendant. Designed to have a simplistic yet modern appearance which subtly complements the pendant and allows for easy installation. Lastly each pedant is suspended from 32" Flat Brick Decorative chain in either the Oxidized Rust or Burnt Charcoal iron finishes. With superior craftsmanship, durability, and beauty of these best-in-class Hardware decorative chains. Some of our pendants do not suspend from chain rather a vintage style braided fabric cloth covered lamp wire is inserted using specially made strain relief cord grips to support and hang the pendant, providing a very minimalist and contemporary option to our creative lighting collection. Contact us for more information on our pendant options and custom features firstname.lastname@example.org
Cofounder, Product Designer, Team Member at Zenwaro™