May/June 2000 Issue

Light Up Your Island Home
Lamps as works of art

By Libby Grimm
Mother Nature can be counted on for natural light all day most every day on the islands. But after the sun goes down or during the occasional cloudburst, a lamp or two does come in handy. Lighten up your life with these lively lamps from local galleries and gift shops.

Low-Light Whimsy
Artist Randy Marks, of Independent Vision, covers welded steel rods with handmade paper from Nepal to create whimsical lights. The lights don’t draw much power (just 25 watts) but always draw plenty of attention. Choose from such happy-go-lucky creatures as Frank, the green alligator (shown at top of page); orange Fun Fish (left); Paul, the teal-colored frog; and Bovina, a Holstein with a working bell. Available at Jungle Drums, 11532 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva, 941/395-2266.

Turn on Your Teapot
A husband-and-wife artistic team, based in California, creates “Big Teapot”-theme ceramic wares, including this playful lamp with a fringed shade. It's available at Pandora's Box. And Harry Potter fans take note: The shop also features cotton-covered hanging lamps that look like upside-down wizard hats. They come in lime green, peach, or red. Available at Pandora?s Box, Periwinkle Place, 2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/472-6263.

Romantic Glow
Henna lamps offer an unconventional look in lighting while giving off a romantic golden glow. The lamps, made of animal hide, come from Morocco. Henna plant extract is used as a paint-like material on the lampshades, covering them with decorative designs reminiscent of tribal tattoos. Available at Traders Store and Café, 1551 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/395-3151.

Come into My Chambered Nautilus
This earth-tone “faux fossil” chambered nautilus lamp is part of the Stonecast Collection. It takes a three-way light bulb and is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Available at The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum Store, 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel, 941/395-2233 or 888/679-6450.

Painted Shade
Pandora's Box carries lamps by Ulla Darni. The upstate New York artist is widely known for her intricate reverse painting on glass, shown here on this exquisite lamp. Artists affiliated with Darni's studio handcrafted the lamp?s shade and its metal base. Available at Pandora?s Box, Periwinkle Place, 2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/472-6263.

Stained-Glass Beauty
Dragonflies of brilliant blues, interspersed with red and gold, decorate this fully leaded stained-glass lamp, which “recalls vintage Louis Tiffany masterpieces.” It’s made by Aura Galaxy artisans, who cut, polish, and fit each piece of Grade A-1 glass by hand. The antique-finish base is evidence of the company’s long experience and mastery in metal casting. Available at Confused Chameleon, 11528 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva, 941/472-0560.

A Bird in the Lamp...
Island Style shops offer many choices when it comes to lamps, all with a tropical bent. Two colorful wooden birds adorn this eye-catching lamp by Wildwood Studios. Customers can place special orders for personalized colors, if desired. Available at Island Style, Unit #210, Chadwick?s Square, Captiva, 941/472-4343; or Unit #16, Periwinkle Place, 2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/472-6657; or 620 Duval Street, Key West, 305/292-7800.