The lampshade project

Thought out my journey of designing the shades I have released the true intent of the shades i am making. I want to bring a bit of glamour into unfortunate living situations.

The volunteering at the hostel, teaching craft to young adult helped me to conclude my ideas, and finalist the outcome of the lampshades i am going to do.

I am going to make a fordable easily pack-able lampshades that are easily transferable from one place to the other.

the journey to the outcome wasn’t easy however i am happy the way it turned out considering the circumstances.










Here are the maquetes  of the shades that i have experimented with before carrying on and laser cutting it out of acrylic 3 mm sheets.

once i was happy with the outcome i start  cutting them out ouf acrylic sheets and have notices that manufacture acrylic sheets are uneven, so that has caused me some issues with the joints. However i made the joints slightly smaller than the acrylic sheet so i can chizzle it down by hand where it is needed.

once he joints were sorted i applied different techniques to each of the six designs.

First one i used a flocking technique which wasn’t my favorite process however it is one of the best outcomes.

the second one i used thermochromic paint which basically means that once it heats up it changes color what ever is underneath. I used black paint on top of white acrylic, and for the smaller version of the design i used the same black but on top of bright yellow. However i didn’t think through a design and the shades were with too much of wide space between it so once the paint was on it didn’t change color with the 60 walt bulbs that i have picked out for the shades. Although if using at least 100 walt bulb it does work out okay. I am disappointed the way this one turned out as i did have high hopes for it.

the tird design i decided to keep plain acrylic to show off the materiality.

forth one was ideally meant to be mirror acrylic laser cut shapes and have 12 parts instead of 6 like the rest of the design, however sadly the mirror acrylic was out of my price range i decided to colour the edges on the clear acrylic instead.

the fifth design turned out to be better than i expected and is one of my favorite. i used sewing thread to add some mix media into the shade.

and the last design but not the least was also cut with laser cutter but i used sandblasting process onto the negative shape of shade number one.

Constellation PDP


Constellation Over past three years was rather hard for me although I would be lying to myself if I did not admit that it has opened my eyes in some ways and helped me learn. Constellation helped me to realise what I am actually interested theory wise more that help me along my course. What I have learned through constellation I cannot actually relate to my course or my work in any way but I enjoyed writing my dissertation although I did find it very stressful. I believe I picked a right concept to write about right at the end, as it kept me occupied and interested up until now, and even though the dissertation is done, I am planning to carry on reading about the unconscious mind and how it works.

When it comes to write my dissertation proposal I knew I should pick a topic that I am interested so it would be easier for me to write it, as the subject I was going to pick was going to be a big part of my summer and a massive part of my third year. I was blank on the matter for very long time as I did not feel like I am interested in anything. As time pressured I had to pick something so I picked to write about ‘Punk’ culture as I like punk and I have already a basic knowledge on the matter, although as the writing had to be academic the subject scared me off a bit and simply I did not know what to write about it, as the books I picked up from the library did not interest me and I found it had to understand. Due to that I have decided to change my proposal and write it on ‘law attraction and subconscious mind’ as this subject always have been intriguing for me, and specially now as it has been promoted in the world. I thought I could take this opportunity of writing a dissertation on it and research the subconscious mind and how to attract success, which could benefit me personally as well as academically. However I did not realise the subject is not academic and also it does not relate to my course or the art in any way. Due to that I have failed and had to reform my question for dissertation.

It began as extremely stressful third year and felt extremely lost at first however changing my question led me to a very interesting reading and subject which I am very happy about now. I end up with the dissertation topic called ‘The Unconscious Mind and Surrealism’. In the paper I have looked at surreal art which lead me to Salvador Dali and I certainly fell in love with his work, and not only his paintings or sculptures but also his eccentric personality, the way he stood out of the crowd and his amazing vision for art. One fact I have learned around Salvador Dali that really intrigued me and considered it to try it myself was that, to get in touch with his pre-conscious he developed a technique where he would fall asleep with a metal spoon in his hand and a plate under it, as he falls asleep the spoon falling out of his hand would make a sound waking him up. In those few seconds of wakening he would see imagery from his dream, which he quickly sketch till he remembers it as the imagery disappears from the memory.

Salvador Dali led me to Sigmund Freud as Dali has been inspired by Freud’s theory of dreams and many more and they have been friends throughout Salvador’s career, although Freud was not a massive fan of art. The readings about Freud and his theories led me to a man called Carl Jung, who was a student of Freud’s to begin with but developed his own researched and opinions on Freud’s theories and Freud himself.

Car Jung in his autobiography book called Memories, Dreams, Reflections, has explained his friendship with Freud throughout the years and the differences between them. The book is one of the best books that I have ever read and I am very happy this topic led me to it. I am planning to get the book myself personally to read it again in my own time, as this time the reading has been rushed by me and I believe I have missed out a lot of valid information.

I have noticed that once I have start reading about Freud and Jung and other writer’s views on their theories and so on, I detached myself a bit throughout my dissertation to the surreal art and I concentrated on the theories and the understanding of the unconscious mind by Freud and Jung. I have got intrigued how Freud understood it in comparison to Jung.

Freud believed that people store negative experiences or traumatic episodes within their life in the unconscious mind. As the unconscious mind would be a ‘trash can’ for the negative experiences that gets locked away. Which sometimes shows up in certain people and cause hysteria. Freud has been believed to be a bitter man, and his view that dreams are disguised with lies and malicious manner, did not please much of society. Carl Jung specially struggled to agree with it. He believed that Freud basing his theories around himself and trying to put it out there as it would fit to everyone. Especially with the theory about the sexual attraction to your parents.

Carl Jung however took more religious rout to the theories and believed that we were all different with different experiences, although the structure stayed the same. As for example if we touch something hot we would drop it instantly however our inner experiences are different from another. He has based a lot of his researched on mythology and gods to understand the concept of the unconscious mind.

While writing my paper I have realised that this is a big topic to discuss and that there is not a direct answer to it or direct explanation about the unconscious or how it works. There are theories a lot of different perceptions of it which I believe are based on the individual. I believe that unconscious is not part of our brain but it is certainly apart of us. A ball of energy that stores information that is useful but not useful right now, like our safety bank that appears without us knowing when we need to use it, as taking example sometimes we simply know something without realising how we know it. My opinion is that we gather information through out every day which gets stored in this massive ‘bank’ the unconscious, so at times in situations we can retrieve the information instantly without knowing how we know it. In some ways perhaps this could be called an instinct.

I personally do not think constellation had a massive impact on my course or the work I do, however it has opened my eyes to more academic skills and thinking, and realisation that I do like philosophy, which is something I will take up on in the future.

Processes so far

The processes so far that I have been using have involved paper making; where I collected old letters, unusable paper and advertisement that comes through the door, cut it up in small pieces and kept it in water over night, once it was soaked properly I have blended it using a blender and quite a bit of water with it.

I have used a ball to build my paper lampshades on as I wanted them to be round, the ball I have used is nothing special just a simple smooth surface beach ball. I have wrapped the ball in cling film so the paper would not stick on the ball so bad that I have to pop the ball. I used PVA glue too so the structure would be firm, I have mixed the glue with the paper mix, and then gently covered half of the ball with the paper making mix that i have made. It took around couple days to dry completely which then I was able to take it off the ball. I have tried to draw on top of the paper lampshades that I have made but it wasn’t very eye pleasing so I cancelled the idea.

The other process that I have used this year so far was plaster mould making; I used the same ball to make the plaster mould as I used to build paper lampshades because I really like the round shape. I wasn’t the easiest mould making as the ball is round and plastic also its rather soft and filled with air, so it kept moving out of place and it was hard to achieve the perfect mould.


Other process that I have done is slip-casting; once my plaster moulds was dry I have poured prepared slip cast into the mould, waited around 10-15 minutes, poured it out, turned it upside down for 5 minutes (as if I keep it any longer it would fall out of the mould) then waited for it to dry off so I cold cut a hole in the middle for the fitting to go through once it is fired. I have done few of these type of moulds as some of them didn’t come out right as I was so inpatient to take them out of the mould, and also I tried to bend the edges so it would give the flower effect which would relate to the shape of the chakra, however sip-cast clay isn’t very flexible and it start cracking. I also tried to poke holes which would be an image of my interpretation of the specific chakra, although that one stayed in good condition and I was hoping to fire it, however I did snap and broke when I have picked it up at one point. I did achieve to save one which has been bisque fired too however it has very rough edges as I thought it could be able to sand the bad bits off after firing, but I found out after that I need to do that before firing. oops. so I am going to repeat the process couple more times and get at least one perfect one, as after that I am planning to slip cast in in porcelain.

I also used pressing in to the mould technique as the edges wouldn’t bend n the slip-cast piece. Then i though of possibly building petals onto the ceramic shade however after good few hours spend n it i reevaluated it and noticed that it seems rather surreal and all i see is long ‘noses’ instead of the petals that i have tried to achieve. So i gave up on the idea.


As i was planning to glaze the ceramic shades with the colour of the chakras, i have gone to the process of making glazes; I have made only couple of them which I was going to experiment with. First I have looked in the library for some recipes for glazes that would be appropriate for me, once have my recipes I have gone to the glaze room and followed the recipe to make the glaze. This part was one of the easiest, although I haven’t made glazes independently before as I only have an induction and quick run through, i thought it wasn’t as hard as it looked on the paper.

To experiment with the glazes i had to make the same slip-cast little tiles so i would know which colour is which once it fires. However they have got lost in the kiln somehow.

One of my latest processes which I will be using in close future too is laser cutting; I always used coral draw to build my files for laser cutter however this year the program is practically non-existent, and illustrator program is more promoted to use. As I do not have a skill to use illustrator, it have been a bit frustrating for me as it took longer than it should of because now I have to quickly learn how to use illustrator so I can laser cut the pieces I need for the lampshades that I am going to produce. Thanks to some help i believe I developed a basic knowledge of t which is a stat in developing the skill of using it.

Once I have created the files I need I have simply use laser cutter to cut out the shapes that I have created on illustrator out of acrylic prospects. This time I have only made a mock up versions to visualise the shades better. Also to develop the understanding of how I am going to connect the acrylic frame and the ceramic mould into one piece.





Evaluation of the work so far


As mentioned previously I have struggled on developing ideas right from the beginning and I haven’t been connecting with my work or the concepts in that matter. Due to the fact I do not have a finished piece to evaluate, however I can evaluate my journey of developing the final idea that at this point I am more than happy about. 

It has been a slow and rather stressful process, as whatever I was coming up with wasn’t very good and I wasn’t feeling very positive about it. 

At first i looked into recycling as that is one of my interests, I like the fact that there are many possibilities of reusing once new item. So I though recycling paper and making paper lamps as there are tons of unneeded paper that just simply goes to waist. Once i have experimented I have noticed that wasn’t what I was looking for. Keeping the same shape of the lampshade in mind, I have changed my concept and went into spirituality rout as that was relating to me at that time and I also think they have bright playful colours which attracted me to the concept of chakras. I have decided to create my own designs based on Indian patterns and hidden chakra meanings within and pace it on the lampshades; however that wasn’t going down well as I am not particularly brilliant drawer and the whole thing seemed too serious. Meanwhile I carried on experimenting in creating the shades with slip-casing and pressing into the moulds. 

Right at the beginning of the year I looked into Victorian style and acanthus leaf in particular, as I am simply a fan of rococo style, although I ruled that out quickly as it didn’t have a good concept to base it on. In a way I wish I never dropped it and carried on the with the ideas that was approaching at the time however I wouldn’t be where I am now with my final design which I am more than happy about. I might be behind but at least I found something positive within my ideas. 

Statment for intent for exhabition

Within the time left to complete the project it is fair to say I am rather behind due to my slow idea development this year. Now that I like my idea and I have a clear image of what I am going to do for my final piece I can precede working on it with more positive approach. First I have to get some support in using illustrator as coral draw is not available anymore and I need to do laser cutting to complete the design. I need to build acanthus leaf forms on illustrator and also the rings that would be joining them together. Once it is done I can experiment and figure out of how to join the laser cut frame to the ceramic light shade so it becomes once piece. Purchase acrylic prospects depending on chakra colours ideally 6 mm (although it wold be fine with 3 mm too) thick and once they arrive finalize the designs and laser cut the final shapes of the acanthus leafs that i would have created on illustrator. In the meantime while sorting the purchase of acrylic an dealing with design issues, I am planning to slip-cast porcelain light shades and decide whether it is worth of gazing it or not. looking to seek some advice on whether it should glaze it clear or not as I do lack the knowledge in the ceramic area, so if I should then bisque fire the shades first, make a glaze, which is either going to be clear or mat while, and then glaze it and fire it again at the right temperature which believe is 1280 c although I would have to double check on that when I am, at that stage. I am planning to achieve all this as soon as possible, as knowing me I have to give plenty time and flexibility for mistakes.
Here is my bullet plan that I am going to follow

*Build acanthus leaf cut outs ready to laser cut, as well as the circles that would be joining them together
*Experiment and figure out how the ceramic shade and the acrylic frame would join together to become one piece.
*Get the right colour acrylic prospects ideally 4 mm thick.
*Finalize the design and laser cut it out of acrylic prospects
*Slip-cast the porcelain light shades
*Bisque fire
*make a clear mat graze
*glaze the shades
*fire the shades
*Join the pieces together.
*If time left, would be nice to create a packaging sample of what it would look flat-packed ready for sale.
*Exhibit it.

In a search for concept

This year we have the freedom to create what ever we are into. What ever is the area we specialize in. However considering myself I do not tend to specialize in one area, as my interest of materials are very wide. I  am more interested in recycling and creating artifact out of recycled materials or at least use an aspect of recycling one way or the other. So the initial idea was to recycle paper as I believe paper is s precious thing and we tend to waist a lot of it everyday. The amount of advertisement I get through post could could make up a whole tree 🙂

So I decided to recycle paper and make lampshades out of it. The process is fairly easy although it can be time consuming as drying time is takes at least couple days.

I have made few of them and I wasn’t too happy with the outside roughness of it and the thickness, I also aiming for the lamp to look elegant and pretty which paper lamp didn’t have the quality of it which I hoped at the beginning. I still like the idea of it and perhaps I will pursue it sometime later on, as there is ways to make the outside smooth and I believe by painting it or with the right decoration it could be a successful piece.

As for now I decided to look into what I like and have a feel for. Taking in from last year I have discovered my taste to rococo style as well as 18th century designs. I have looked into what i particularly like out of that era and I have noticed I am drawn to acanthus leaf which was very popular at that time. Also as well as nature and certain animals, which ideally is one of my biggest interest as it is anyway.

However liking a type of a leaf , doesn’t give me a very strong or good concept for my final year artifact, due to that and with some advice I had to rule that out as well as the paper shades.

I find it little bit had not having a direct brief of what to make, and this openness of possibilities is rather scary. Due to some personal choices I have decided to start meditation a while ago. Which l led me to look into chakras and their meaning. The most attraction to me is their colors and that it is relevant to everyone who are spiritual open people. This led me to a decision to make a chakra lamp which would be done out of porcelain slip.

I do not specialize working with clay and to be completely open I have avoided ceramic through out my course until now, which of course now I wish I haven’t. It is not my favorite material to work with however I am willing to try to do my best as I have already started it.

As much as I like the concept as this relates to me at this point in my life,I am still not convinced that I am going to be happy with the outcome at the end which worries me, I just do not feel connected to the idea that I am pursuing. Perhaps because it doesn’t contain ‘ OTT’ effect and neither any glamour or playfulness. 

Due to this matter I am going to reassess the idea, and any other possibilities so I could connect to my work.





Foldable lampshades