Everything started when Ieva Kaleja returned from her studies in Milan, Italy. Back in Latvia, she decided to start a design business with her sister. They needed a technical expert and turned to their father. Today, Ieva’s entire family and relatives are involved in the company. Ieva says that, in Latvia, it is often standard that people have a high technical knowledge, but the combination of technical production and design is unique for Mammalampa. Mammalampa strives to have a natural expression and are in close contact with nature.
– It reflects my way of working during the creative process. I feel better when I’m in nature rather than in the office. I prefer to be alone surrounded by nature’s beauty. That’s when I feel the most at home, says Ieva Kaleja.
Ieva calls herself a design poet with a prime focus to evoke emotions through her designs. She has chosen to take a step back from the functional aspects.
– I don’t use computers in the same way as professional designers. They usually deal with solving a concrete problem in a cheap and functional way. My way of working is more irrational. I look for the small miracles and for beauty in the unexpected. For me, it’s a way of creating poetry, says Ieva.
One of Ieva’s aims is to surprise the people that experience her lamps, both with the choice of material and with the transformation. She uses everything from wood and paper to Swarovski crystals when creating her unique lamps.
– I like to combine exclusive materials with less expensive raw materials. I think that this combination is surprising in itself and evokes a curiosity in people. People usually have presumptions of how Swarovski crystals are used and presented. When I created the lamp made out of crystals I found inspiration in asphalt and made a lamp that looked heavy and dark, which most people did not expect.