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ROOST MEETS: The Creator at Papershades

If you think art is something to be framed and hung on the wall, then think again. I mean, it is, but it’s also so much more than that. If you like your home to be brimming with colour, unique art and personality then you’ll love this new lampshade brand Papershades.

There’s a beautiful simplicity to the concept behind personality lampshades, designed by paper collage artist Rosalind Freeborn. We caught up with Rosalind to find out more about the brand and how she came up with the idea for Papershades.

Papershades headshot

Tell us about the idea behind Papershades…

I’m an artist and have specialised in paper collage for years. I found myself spending ages wondering if I could find a way to turn my art into a product of some kind.  I started looking at the lampshades in my own home and at other people’s and thought, “They really are quite dull, very plain and conventional”.  So, I embarked upon a mission to turn my art into lampshades and the result is Papershades – paper lampshades made from five printed panels based on my own paper art.

Once the idea materialised it seemed blindingly obvious and I wondered why it had taken me so long to reach this eureka moment! But, as with lots of products, having the idea was the easy bit.  It’s taken a good two years to develop this idea, create prototypes, assemble all the elements and get to the stage when I could launch my first range – based on colourful, cheerful paper collage artwork.

Papershades lights 2

It sounds like quite a busy two years! Tell us about the process of putting your idea into a tangible product.

I have no training as a product designer but I had an idea which just wouldn’t go away and I felt confident enough in the concept to give it a go.  The biggest thing was designing and producing the unique Papershades ‘wheels’ which form the basis of a Papershades lampshade.  I had plenty of artwork to select from but I had to think like a curator and select the collages I felt would have commercial appeal. Then there was the business of finding a printer, producing a logo, planning the packaging, getting the website made…. it’s been quite a journey to get to this stage and I have had a LOT of help from very kind and supportive people!

What do you love most about creating Papershades lampshades? 

I absolutely love seeing that art which I had such pleasure in making can successfully be printed and reproduced in an entirely different way.  No matter how many prototypes you make, how often you experiment with ideas and test parts of the design there’s an exquisite delight to be had when you open up a box of printed shades which have all been cut to the right size and realise that you actually have a real live product which (you hope) other people will also like and want to buy.  I also love being sent photographs of my Papershades which have been bought and are now having a lovely life in other people’s homes. They really do brighten up a room whether the lights are on or off.

paper shades lights 3


If you’re interested in getting your hands on your own Papershades creation then head over to the website where the first range of bright floral designs is currently being sold for £25 each (including postage and packing).

Also, if you fancy trying your hand at making your own Papershades masterpiece then Rosalind runs regular workshops from her home studio in Muswell Hill, London. Prices cost £48 (this includes the cost of the £25 lampshade). You can sign up online, here.

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Papershades lampshades - unique bright and colourful lampshade art

Do you know a brilliant creator selling unique homeware products, who we should feature in our Roost Meets series? If so, get in touch. You can email us at teamroostblog@gmail.com or tweet us at @Roostblog. We’re always on the hunt for inspiring new, independent creatives to champion. 

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