In reaction to this plastic waste issue in the Colombian Amazon, Spanish designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón began the PET Lamp Project in 2011–a layout venture with the intention to reuse PET plastic bottles. Over the previous five years, the eco-conscious designer has worked together with traditional craft communities from throughout the world–including Colombia, Chile, Japan, and Ethiopia–to turn plastic waste into a growing collection of beautiful, handmade PET Lamps.
As with his previous projects alongside traditional craftspeople, Catalán de Ocón came to Bula’Bula Arts Centre in Ramingining with no predetermined plan for the way the lamps would look. Rather, he gave liberty to the talented weavers who began to generate huge structures inspired by traditional Yolngu mats. Made from naturally colored pandanus fibers, the resulting suspension lamps with feature fringes include the PET plastic bottles since the center points of their circular woven designs.
The vivid, sunshine hues were created from boiling natural ingredients and pigments–such as ash and eucalyptus bark– then leaving the dyed leaves to dry from the sun. Every single mat was then woven together into two bigger lampshades, mirroring the bond between individuals of the same clan. Catalán de Ocón explains, “The two masterpieces turn into a complex, harmonious merge between Aboriginal kinships, weaving technique, topographic elements, and design.”
You can also find out more about the job via the PET Lamp Site.
In collaboration with traditional craftspeople from all over the planet, the PET Lamp Project was set by designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón.