Sail In Style: Handcrafted Paper Light Shades

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Sail In Style: Handcrafted Paper Light Shades

By | 2019-01-04T08:32:19+00:00 November 15th, 2018|Lighting News|Comments Off on Sail In Style: Handcrafted Paper Light Shades

A combination of art and nature and technology has produced Voiles. The product is a perfect blend of form and function if you are looking for the delicacy and beauty of hand-made pendant paper light shades.

The artist

For more than 20 years French designer Céline Wright has designed unique lighting fixtures. She has deservedly achieved celebrity status in the world of lighting art.

Her works are invariably inspired by the natural world, executed in clean, organic forms, and structured by hand. Like a sculptor, she strives for shapes that seem to her “unique and alive”. All her creations are made in France and personally signed.

Wright has worked in collaboration with Spanish company GROK to produce Voiles. She was named an “Honoree” – a finalist in the pendant lighting category in Interior Design magazine’s 2017 Best Of Year Awards.

“These objects are the results of her careful eye focused on the natural world that surrounds us: a bark that catches a ray of sun, flowers scattered on a footpath, a creased fabric hanging on a cord, caught in the light and wind. Her lamps are like a stroll in the heart of nature” (GROK)


For Voiles, Celine’s choice of materials is Washi – nature’s contribution. This traditional Japanese paper is made from fibres from the inner bark of various plants, including mitsumata (oriental paper bush), gampi, kōzo (paper mulberry), and even rice. Washi is both flexible and durable and can resist tearing and breaking.

The Japanese have used Washi for centuries. Its versatility and strength make it ideal for a vast range of products crafted by hand, in a complex process, in countless forms. Almost transparent tissue is used to create pictures and cover solid forms – papier-maché style; other types are used in origami, the construction of paper flowers and delicate high-quality stationery, and for making wallpapers and screens. In certain periods of Japanese history, Washi was the material chosen for the manufacture of paper money. It is so durable it has also been used to make armour.

Now, the delicate beauty of Washi has been interpreted for home lighting. Voiles is the French word for ‘sails’ – the inspiration for the design. Ms Wright’s evocative paper light shades are suggestive of the natural play of air and light, in and around a material that is both delicate and immensely strong.


After sketching out the design from a basic concept, Celine gives it life. She makes each component separately by pasting together a series of overlapping layers of Washi. Then she artfully arranges them to suggest a series of delicate and translucent air-filled ‘sails’, which seem to change constantly as the light shade is viewed from different points in the room.

The variations in the texture of the Washi add further interest. The varying thicknesses that result from the light shade’s construction create shadows within its form, and produce the effect of light beams radiating from its centre.

The light

The technology is as subtle as the design. LED indirect lighting means that the light source is hidden within the ‘sails’. Diffused light is further softened as it passes through the Washi fibres. It fills the space, without casting shadows, and is reflected by ceiling, walls, or tables. And for a shift in mood, you can use the dimming function.

Voiles will complement any contemporary decor. The soft, gentle elegance and almost ethereal presence of these paper light shades will create the atmosphere you want, in any setting.

Custom Lighting is currently placing orders for early 2019 delivery.

Please call us if the hand-crafted Voiles will enhance your interiors.