“Lamp and Brown Paper (or whatever you want)” is how English lampshade designer Mark Betty describes his lamp on his instagram. The brown paper rolled into an asymmetrical cone and secured with a pin seems like it was made with a single gesture (though it no doubt requires singular knowledge, care and creativity). Like all Betty’s shades, it has its own unique personality, as though it were alive.
This classic smallish lampshade embellished with string is rife with possibilities: “White Rag shade as captured @boz_gagovski #tiedupwithstring (that might anchor your ephemera or simply cast shadows as was the intention. Your Choice)“. Betty wants his lampshades to resonate in your life.
What would be a somewhat staid lampshade became jazzy and whimsical with an artful garland of cut paper, like a lady wearing a wonderful hat….
In this image of Betty’s London flat from World of Interiors, we spotted his pendant/chandelier made of a few sheets of speared paper…
Here Betty applied his casual rolling and draping to scraps of vintage wall paper…
In this illuminated shade, you can see the structure on which the rolled and pinned sheet of cotton rag rests: a simple metal frame used in ordinary lampshades. It’s like an X-ray vision into Betty’s casually rolled shades: a sheet of paper held in place by a hidden form underneath.
It inspired us to hunt for a basic structure, which we learned are wire lampshade frames. Some are clip-on, so would make for an instant base for our shade-making adventures…
…Though we imagine we could use a plain white shade or remove its fabric to get just the frame. Low wattage, low-heat bulbs, though we don’t love their glarey light, would make it a less dangerous undertaking initially, until we got the translucent, fire resistant liner material used in most lamp making….
Betty EXPANDED our view of this most basic of housewares, and sent us down a rabbit hole.
See more of Mark Betty’s completely original London Flat, full of lampshades, in these photos by James McDonald for World of Interiors.