When we last spoke with Vainius Kubilius, the gifted artist was embarking on a new creative career as a sculptor and lighting designer with his incredible Nymphs lamps, made out of coconut shells. Now, nearly three years later, he has not only successfully been running his business this whole time, but also refining his skills and expanding his team. “After your article,” Kubilius tells My Modern Met in an email, “I’ve been featured on many different news outlets, found thousands of people who appreciate handcrafted lamps as much as I do, and delivered over 2,000 light pieces worldwide, helping me raise enough funds to gather a team of highly talented people and start re-designing my creations into something truly astonishing.”
More than your typical sort of home decor, Kubilius’ lamps provide a unique escape through light design. It’s like a spectacular light show in your living room, bedroom, whatever room you chose to display it in. Much like his first series, the artist’s new series of lamps offer a feast for the eyes. But before we dive into his newest work, it’s important to revisit Kubilius’ older series to fully appreciate his growth. Initially, the sculptor worked exclusively with coconut shells, taking a few days to complete each one. Realizing this process was far too time-consuming—making it more expensive for clients—he made quick changes to his techniques and materials, without sacrificing quality or aesthetic. “We left the essential design and body form but changed every component of the lamp for the better,” he says.
Now, instead of coconut shells, Kubilius and his team use dried gourds. “There are a few reasons why we did this,” he tells us. “Firstly, since we create about a hundred lamps a month, it became a nightmare trying to find beautiful, round, large coconuts. Most of them are weird shaped and small. We started using dried gourds because all of them are completely round and larger than coconut shells, which gives us more space to create more elaborate patterns. The second reason is that we wanted to include engravings into our lamps (half drilled parts that glow red when lit). We find it an extremely beautiful detail.”
The light artist explains further: “The lampshades are made from gourds with more detail and precision than before, when they were made from coconuts. We started using higher quality faux suede and improved techniques for preparing it. We started using magnets to hold the lampshades instead of corks, which were not very durable. Not only does it improve durability but putting the lampshade on and off is just such a cool feeling. We rethought all of the creating processes to speed it up; so after all these upgrades and improvements, the lamp price did not rise but actually dropped and it became more affordable for many.” And to top it all off, what once took several days to complete is now done in 6-8 hours.
Kubilius owes a huge debt of gratitude to world famous gourd artist Calabarte. “He lives in Poland and we are based in Lithuania—the distance between us is not large so we started meeting up and became good friends,” Kubilius enthuses. “He has shared his 8-year experience in creating complex patterns in a simple but precise way, gave us tips on how to avoid and solve problems that we had to face during the creative process. Without him, this collection would not be as high quality as it is now.”
Kubilius is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund his handcrafted pieces. Though the project has already exceeded its goal by more than three times, you can still get your own set of Nymphs lamps through the campaign’s perks. As an added bonus, you can help light up this map the artist’s team has created, marking every place their lamps have shipped to.