11. 08. 2005
Hand Grenade Oil Lamps
Luxury goods with explosive themes seem to be popping up more and more lately. Critics of Victor and Rolf's Flowerbomb claimed that the fragrant crystal grenade made a mockery of deadly weapons in a time of war. The designers responded that they were merely playing with opposites, combining feminine and masculine, power and romance.
Similar issues surround Piet Houtenbos' softly flickering hand grenade oil lamps. Houtenbos uses real U.S. Army surplus grenades gilded in either gold or silver then filled with oil that burns up to 24 hours. Two online catalog entries about Houtenbos' grenade try to clarify the designer's ironic intentions, i.e., "(Houtenbos) wants to show people that just about anything has the potential to be better;" and "This ice breaker will shatter even the weirdest, thickest ice."
I find them more appealing than weird, but I'm not sure if I want terrorist-themed home furnishings setting the mood in my pad — the nightly news already does that for free. Lamp grenades will run you $40-60 apiece. Impress your date by lighting one up while wearing a Symbionese Liberation Army beret, a la Patty Hearst, America's favorite terrorist heiress.