Shama - wrought iron lamp
A wonderful Franco-Lebanese company has managed to salvage wrought iron balustrades and window frames from the Lebanon and Syria dating from the 19th and early 20th century - artefacts which would have ended up in scrap yards otherwise. Traditional Lebanese houses in Beirut are now rare as they make way for development projects and high rises. These houses have been destroyed and damaged by conflicts and are abandoned and often destroyed illegally.
The original patina and the shape of the lamps themselves are carefully preserved. Everything is hand-worked using traditional blacksmith artisan techniques and natural pigments are used to colour the bases of the lamps and candleholders. The company trains and employs unskilled labour or those with physical or mental handicaps; the aim is to preserve the country's heritage whilst creating a chain of social solidarity by integrating these otherwise marginalized people.
The lampshades are made using old linens that are dyed, some with patterns such as damasks. Local women from a variety of religions have created these lampshades with the company aiming to promote inter-faith reconciliation by hiring staff with different and historically conflicting backgrounds.
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