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.


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.

Foldable lampshades


My process of coming up with this final idea has been long and rather stressful, but I am finally happy with the outcome of the final idea that I am planning to produce for the end of this year.
As an end result I am hoping to have a contemporary, easy portable, playful, convenient and usable piece of work. I would imagine the lampshades I am going to produce would be sold separately and would be made for mass production at the stores like habitat or lighting stores and contemporary household stores.
The lampshades I finally set my heart to are initially inspired by chakras but I have decided to cut the seriousness about it and concentrate on their colour instead, as this always was one of the main matters that attracted me to go into spirituality subject. I failed to recognise for a long time what has attracted me to chakras and the ideas that I was coming up with, I struggled to find the sync between the ideas and the concept that I was going with.
I am a big nature lover and a fan of Victorian era co I came to the conclusion that I should combine the three elements together to create one outcome. This way I would enjoy making work and my final year. At first it seemed impossible as chakras does not have much in common with Victorian er, however once I have recognised which factors I am mostly attracted to from the three subjects that mostly influence me at this time and are important to me I have come up with a clear image of what I want to achieve for my final piece of work of the year.
I found my fascination of acanthus leaf since last year as well as rococo style, so I decided to have lase cut out of acrylic prospects acanthus leaves. The colour of the acrylic prospects will be based and inspired by the chakras colour, as I come to understanding that the colour is the main factor that I like about them. I like my lampshade to be easy build and easily portable, so any age person could manage to build it and take it apart and bring it with them if on the move due to circumstances. To do that the shades will have to be flat packed and easily assembled.
To join the laser cut acanthus leafs I will have acrylic rings joining them together, so it just slots in each other. I also going to have the shade I have been working on in while porcelain in the middle of the acrylic structure. The porcelain shade is going to be plain white and I am still debating on the glaze. I am aware that the glazed item would be more protected from spillage accidents or even long term hanging as the air caries dust, I take in consideration a smoking environment, as if the shade hanging over a long time it would get yellow coating.


This year for my project i want to work with light, so i thought of making a lampshade or a chandalear. Here is some inspirational lampshades that i like.


I like these because it is colourful and vibrant, has the ‘retro’ feel to it. Perhaps it is not the most creative shades but the colours do compliment each other well.

These light are more of intalation in a way than mood setting household light, i do think they are fantastic and would be perfect in a ‘chill’ room, i would like them smaller though than so oversized. i found these at
On this one i love the way the light reflects on the wall. Seems clean and simple design.
once again i do love the effect it gives on the wall.
here is another light fixture that i really like, reminds me of elegance and glamour, abot of 1940 perhaps.
These are stunning, i love the black marbles and the diamontis, also very settle shape.
These are created by Spanish designer Miguel Angel Garcia Belmonte, he used traditional techniques and naturtal materials to create thsese contemporary lighting design. it is very athmosphese setting with the settle light shining through each shade. I do really like them, also loving the simple shapes.
I think this is such a cleaver design! easy portable and contemporary looking shade. This is not only smart but very conviniant.