MAUNA KEA NUI is a new lamp offered for the 2019 season. She has the new style tiki base. Mauna Kea Nui works well with 14-18 inch lampshade sizes.
E komo mai – welcome – to the home of Hula Lamps Hawaii, where unique design, timeless beauty, graceful functionality, and the aloha spirit meet to create one-of-a-kind treasures from Hawaii that will be kept and cherished for generations.
Hula lamps are artistic lighting sculptures which capture the beauty and grace of this timeless dance, with a base made of cast bronze, Hawaiian wahine or lady in a hula dance pose, and a colorful shade painted with a variety of iconic island motifs. And, many of these lovely ladies actually do dance the hula, thanks to a quiet, internal motor that gyrates their skirts over their swaying hips!
All our hula lamps are classic bronze sculptures, rendered in smooth, warm, glowing brown patina. Each is a custom work of art that is painstakingly cast, painted and signed and numbered—all limited-edition pieces that are really tomorrow’s collectible available for you today!
The Hula Lamps Hawaii Story
Hula Lamps Hawaii is the dream and realization of Kona artist Charles Moore, who created his prototypes of the lamp more that 20 years ago. Charles drew his inspiration from the original retro hula lamp styles that were popular in Hawaii back in the 1930s. These lamps were typically of only modest quality and time has taken its toll—they have become increasingly rare and when found, very expensive.
In the past two decades, Charles has put his artistic mark on the art of the hula lamp, skillfully designing and creating his own more detailed and contemporary styled lamps, but still retaining the special vintage look and appeal of the original designs. With each passing year, Charles’s creations have become one of the most sought-after treasures by visitors to Hawaii from around the world who wish to take home something truly special from the Islands. This popularity has made Hula Lamps Hawaii the world’s premier hula lamp manufacturer, with more than 10,000 pieces sold to date.
Unlike easily-produced and cheaper items appealing to a mass market, each hula lamp created by Hula Lamps Hawaii is painstakingly designed, produced and finished over more than a year’s time. The key to the beauty of the hula dancers is the hot bronze casting method Charles uses. This hot bronze or foundry casting method has been used for nearly 2000 years, and involves a lengthy, skilled and complex process. Inexpensive cold cast and alternate methods of casting such as resin are often used instead today by other producers to create a “bronze look,” rather than real bronze.
Pick up any of our hula lamps, and you will note they are solid and heavy, a mark of a true bronze sculpture. The hot bronze casting results in a piece that is not only substantial, but—like the true bronze sculptures from the Greco-Roman era still found in museums today—will retain its beauty and value for many, many years.
The hula lamp base consists of the hula dancer—authentically wearing a green, colored or two-tone bronze neck and head lei—as well as a platform on which the dancer stands and which has Hawaiian cultural images attractively sculpted in bas-relief. The dancer also wears a fringe hula skirt, which sways sensually on the motorized models.
The beautiful bronze base of all lamps is crowned with a durable and distinctive shade that has been skillfully hand-painted with flowers such as hibiscus, anthurium, plumeria, heliconia, orchid and bird of paradise, as well as palm trees, seashores, turtles, pineapples, canoes and other Hawaiian motifs. The shades are of semi-translucent construction, which allows for a warm and glowing back-lighting sensually illuminating the island images. Because they are hand done, no two shades are exactly alike.
Choosing Your Custom Hula Lamp
Our hula lamps are all custom, meaning you as the client will choose the particular base you like, which will be either static or motorized. About half our clients choose the motorized version, which turns the hula lamp into “aloha in motion” and is an extraordinary conversation piece. The integrated internal motor was designed by Charles, and the mechanism very quietly creates a fluid and soothing movement of the dancer’s skirt over her hips as if she were really dancing the hula. The skirt mechanism is powered by normal AC current and controlled by a separate switch. The motorized models all have popular Hawaiian wahine names, such as Pua Lei, Leilani, Malia, Alana, Maile and others. Many of the static models have well-known Big Island and Hawaiian place names like Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hookena, Waimea, Napali and so on. You will also choose the color for the dancer’s skirt for both of the models. Bases range from 12 – 40 inches in height, with the shade.
In addition to the type and size of the base, you’ll also choose the lampshade you prefer. Lampshades are sold separately and there are many shades to choose from. While they are the same low-flare style, their size varies from 12 up to 22 inches in height, so they can be matched up with the various sizes of bases. You can also choose the color fringe you’d like on the shade. We find our clients enjoy “mixing and matching” the bases and shades. We ship nearly 95% of our orders and we have special boxes made to protect your hula lamp in shipping so that it arrives in perfect condition. Both the motorized and static versions are limited edition works of art, meaning just that: only so many of each kind are ever produced.
Quite simply, customers who come into our Kona showroom store are usually astounded by the variety and quality of Charles’s artistry, which also includes ceramic and brass vases, wall hangings, sculpted dishes and other items.
About the Artist
Like many wonderful ideas, Hula Lamps Hawaii came to be by serendipity—or unexpected good fortune for the founder and creator, Charles Moore. Born in Denver, Colorado, Charles had a worldly childhood, living in a variety of European countries due to his father’s career as an engineer for IBM. Post high school, he decided to pursue his interest in art, attending an art and design school near Florence, Italy. This was followed by four years of travel around Europe and India, before he returned to the U.S. to live in Colorado. He married, then relocated with his wife to Kona, Hawaii. In Kona, he bought a boat, doing dive tours and also collecting tropical fish. He might still be doing the dive tours, had not his then-wife one day brought back a vintage hula lamp purchased on a trip to Honolulu. The hula lamp so stirred Charles’s latent artistic muse, that he decided it was his life’s passion, and in 1995 created the enterprise that is today’s Hula Lamps Hawaii. Fast forward seven years to 2002, when—by now divorced from his first wife—on a trip to Suphan Buri, Thailand he met and married a lovely Thai lady by the name of Wanwisa. Soon Wanwisa was helping Charles with the many operation details of Hula Lamps Hawaii and is today the business owner. Charles and Wanwisa have two children, Tyler, 15 and Kaili, 13 years of age.