I've always been fascinated with shapes that tessellate; the light and shade forms create and their potential to embellish a room and affect mood. When I started out on this journey to design and make a sculptural lampshade, I had in mind the idea to reinvent the simple paper globe lampshade.
The idea grew from a period of experimentation working with uniform grids, symmetry and repetitive patterns. Applying these rules of geometry and using a computer and A3 printer I managed to transform something flat into three-dimensional forms. By piecing together sheets of paper to continuously scale up small models and evolve concepts that edged closer to a fully formed idea. With a background in graphic design and my experience of the print industry I translated these concepts into products for commercial lampshade designs.
Developing an idea is just the beginning as the concept needs to be fleshed out and transformed into a commercial product. It’s a step-and-repeat process of continually going back to the drawing board to make adjustments and modification – problem solving to streamline the product. I suppose its striving for perfection and making the idea the best it can be.
One of my design mantras is ‘less is more’, something I must remind myself of! It’s so easy to over complicate a piece of work, although it’s necessary and valid in relation to a design process – getting your ideas down without restricting or editing yourself too much is vital. The trick is being able to revisit the concept to simplify and streamline your idea whilst maintaining the essence of what makes it work.
In designing and developing ideas I once came across a phrase used by the Sculptor, Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003) that still guides my creative process today: “You must improvise as you go along… working directly is best, even a slight mistake is not a mistake for it hasn’t been corrected yet.”