Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For the love of Lighting!

Today I am showcasing beautiful pendant lights created by Allison of Zipper8Lighting on Etsy.  Have you ever wanted to give a room a facelift or change over...well, Allisons creations will do it for you and then some. She has managed to create the most amazing pendant lights out of ordinary items such as book pages or plastic bags, all echo friendly and sure to be conversation pieces. I just had to chat with her and find out more about her creative process.  But first lets take a look at her amazing work...
Spikey White Paper Pendant Light

Ruffled Table Lamp - Domed Soft White Light
Ruffled Table Lamp
Round Flat Mixed Book Page Pendant Light - Paper Lantern Shade Only
Mixed Book Page Pendant Light

Here's my interview with Allison:

1. Please tell me about yourself and what inspires you to start making these wonderful creations.
A: I have always been a crafty person. I was lucky enough to have the most amazing babysitter growing up, and she is one of the most crafty people I know, so we were constantly creating things together. She gave me my first glue gun when I was 8 or so, and we used to make decorative wreaths, and flour dough and all sorts of different art projects. I look back and truly wonder where I would be today if it wasn't for her, and I'm lucky enough to still see her regularly and sometimes we even sit down and craft together!

In terms of my lighting design specifically, I've always been fascinated by lights. There is just something so awesome about a big craft project that lights up! I started playing around with lights as part of my main design business Zipper8Design, but then I decided that they really deserved their own shop on Etsy and their own forum, so that's when I split them off into Zipper8Lighting. 

2. Your lamps are so unique did you have any formal training?
A: I don't have any specific training to create lights, but I did graduate last May with a Master of Architecture from Columbia University here in NYC, and their program is about so much more than just architecture, and I learned so much about design in general as well as honing my technical expertise. 

3. Where do you get your inspirations from?
A: I take inspiration from anything and everything, both in my daily life and online. If I walk into a hardware store or a 99 cent store, my mind just starts whirling, wondering what I can make next. I actually spotted some really colorful fly swatters last summer in my local hardware store, and recently I was thinking about how I could make a cool light out of them. I love rethinking a material and seeing how I can transform it from a more standard function into something new and wonderful. Beyond that I just feel like I keep a digital catalog in my head of all the inspirational ideas I've seen, and I'm always thinking about rethinking projects other people have done, and taking my own spin on them. I keep lists of awesome projects I want to try, and sometimes a couple different projects come together in my mind to make something new and unique.

4, You're creations are so beautiful I know you must have a special way of creating them, can you tell us about that?
A: I wouldn't say I have any special way of creating my lights, more than anyone else. Mostly my process involves a paper lantern or some other base form work, my trusty glue gun and lots of glue sticks, and then plenty of materials such as coffee filters, straws or paper circles. Then I just get to work and start gluing things together. There's often a lot of experimentation that goes along with the process, I've learned the easy way and the hard way to make some projects and I usually have to search around until I find the best source of supplies. I try to chronicle some of my experiments on my blog, the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, Redecorate ( and I'm always looking for the next fun project to try.

5. What's your typical day like?
A: My typical day is about to drastically change. Since graduating from school I have been taking a bit of time off, first for a vacation and then because I couldn't find a full time job. My days are very low key, I don't have any set schedule so I'll spend time with my puppy, Basel, and then I'll usually spend some time online browsing around my favorite blogs and places to find inspiration. Then I might work on a project or two, sometimes I am really motivated and sometimes I just don't feel like creating. However, starting on Monday I am going to be working full time so my days are going to drastically change. I'm not sure how this is going to effect my business, but I do know that even if its just for my own mental health, I would like to be able to spend at least an hour and hopefully 2 or 3 hours a night being crafty. I'm lucky in that it is just me and Basel, so I have the time to devote to being crafty and following my hearts desire. If my business really takes off I'm sure I'll need to create a more specific schedule, in terms of when I sit down to work online, when I sit down to create new lights, when I mail boxes etc. For now I can only wait and hope that one day I will be wishing I had fewer sales. For now, I'm just happy for every sale I get and I just can't wait to fill my shop with more exciting lighting!

6. Anything else you'd want my readers to know about you and or your business?
A: I love my lighting, and when I see an idea or a material that I want to make into a project, inevitably my first thought is, 'could that be a light?' But, the first products I ever developed and created are my beer bottle cap coasters from my main design shop, and they will always have a special place in my heart. You can find them here:

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