Who said lampshades have to be boring? We at EmptyChair were able to join an amazing Papershades workshop on making the exciting lampshades!
Ros Freeborn, a specialist in the art of paper collage, led the workshop in her enviable home near Crouch End. Her workspace was a visual representation of her mind, Ros explained, with everything from celebrity portraits to prototype jumbo-sized lampshades set around the room. The inviting feel was brought to life by the array of different lampshade designs and lamps themselves!
After a brief introduction to what we would be doing, Ros explained the process of making a piece of art that was truly our own. So we set about sifting through the vast collection of paper at our disposal; light tissues, bold wallpaper prints, torn out magazine pages, and even re-used wrapping paper! Then Ros talked us through her catalogue of examples from previous classes, which ranged from delicate floral designs, to punchy African-inspired arrangements. She stressed that the designs that turned out best had a central motif, with lighter backgrounds – but we could design whatever we liked!
Having brainstormed some ideas over coffee, we set to work. Gathering some light, thin cut outs from some maps, we put our cartography mashup to the template. Slightly apprehensive at first, applying the glue to what we were designing gave way to getting our arrangements down with convincing gluey strokes. Before we knew it, and after some special Papershades sponge cake, we had a simple, but striking lampshade template!
It was then copied out five times, ready to be mounted on Ros’ self-designed ‘support wheels’, which give the lampshade its quintuple character. This was the tricky part; actually cutting out the design! We needed some help from Ros, but her deft hands made quick work of trimming each face of the shade. After toying with the support wheels, we’d assembled our shade, ready to be brought to life with light!
It was truly a sight to behold – our very own design, mounted and lit up on the table in front of us; we could barely keep the grins from our faces as Ros flicked the switch. Our creations seemed to spring from the paper, with each colour popping with the light shining through!
Following a lot of ooing and ahing, we were shown more of Ros’ work – captivating life collages, to London cityscapes and flowery canvases. Her work is playful and free, with slivers of paper like strokes of a brush on a canvas.
It was an illuminating experience, helping the team at EmptyChair to really discover something new! If you want to check out other amazing workshops led by artists like Ros, head to the EmptyChair app to see what we’ve got for you! apple.co/2iujL5x