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Project by AaronK posted 07-25-2009 10:34 PM 2468 views 28 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For my first anniversary present, a mulberry paper lamp in walnut. Thanks to Steve for suggesting something like this. I did post a couple blog posts about this, but they dont really cover the whole process – i’m a terrible blogger what can i say.

I designed it myself based on some other traditional and contemporary designs. I like to think it’s FLW meets shoji functionality. Although the paper is actually Thai… I deviated very little from my original sketchup design. the width is slightly less, the narrow design slats are not mitered at the ends, and the vertical corner pieces protrude from the top a bit, with a little bevel at the top for fun.

I learned a huge amount while putting this together… lots about dimensioning lumber, working smaller pieces, and using hand tools – no sandpaper touched this wood. the last thing on there was a really sharp block plane. Which was incredibly satisfying – once it was the right size it was done. silky smooth done. The wood was wonderful to work with – my first time with walnut. The smell and texture are inspiring to say the least. I wanted to leave it pretty natural, so the finish is a single coat of Minwax antique oil followed by another 1.5 of paste wax, which leaves it still silky smooth.

This being my second project there are of course countless mistakes in the thing. most of them are not noticable, and the ones that are are pretty minor. they stem partly from my failure to properly dimension the lumber and partly from some of the crazy grain pattern in some of the stock. like i said, there were lessons learned!

What else can i say about it… the top is cut out in the center to allow escape of heat (fluorescent bulb), the bulb socket is silicone glued into a circular mortise. the cord travels through a bored out 3/8” thick section. The paper was super easy to work with – easiest part of the whole thing. I think i might try some more paper-based constructions in the future. oh yeah, the paper came from creative papers. overall this thing took way too many hours to make. but it was worth it, my wife absolutely adores it.

some more pics:

20 comments so far

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 2416 days

#1 posted 07-25-2009 10:48 PM

Absolutely beautiful…bet the wife loved it. The design is amazing…WELL DONE !!!!

-- Don S.E. OK

View cypresswoodworker's profile


89 posts in 2436 days

#2 posted 07-25-2009 11:34 PM

Awsome job, catches the eye and creates an instant calm feeling.

-- If at first you don't succeed...Buy another tool !!

View KayBee's profile


1052 posts in 2336 days

#3 posted 07-25-2009 11:47 PM

Incredible lamp! Love the mulberry paper for the lamp shade, it just adds that much more to the whole thing.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Christopher's profile


573 posts in 3010 days

#4 posted 07-25-2009 11:52 PM

Very well done! This lamp design will be imitated, which is the purest form of compliment.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2533 posts in 2682 days

#5 posted 07-26-2009 12:30 AM

Great Looking Lamp! Thanks for posting.

-- Dennis Zongker

View ellen35's profile


2669 posts in 2522 days

#6 posted 07-26-2009 12:59 AM

Love the design and execution!
Nice to see some really unusual pieces here!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View jcees's profile


987 posts in 2889 days

#7 posted 07-26-2009 01:33 AM

Way cool. I dig the design as well as the execution. Nicely done.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3336 days

#8 posted 07-26-2009 02:24 AM

Isn’t this called Haiku. It is beautiful. Todd Clippinger made some hanging from the ceiling that were large and beautiful like yours somewhat.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View SPalm's profile


5186 posts in 2972 days

#9 posted 07-26-2009 02:25 AM

Yo Yo Aaron, that is just stunning. Good Job!
You have some very handsome design ideas in there.
You have inspired me, I really like it.


P.S. Isn’t walnut fun to work with?

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View a1Jim's profile


113832 posts in 2667 days

#10 posted 07-26-2009 02:57 AM

Very cool lamp very nice

-- Custom furniture

View Dusty56's profile


11781 posts in 2778 days

#11 posted 07-26-2009 05:22 AM

WOW ! Now that is one gorgeous lamp ! Congratulations on your project and making the little woman happy at the same time : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View savannah505's profile


1749 posts in 2676 days

#12 posted 07-26-2009 05:39 AM

Very nice lamp, it has a very soothing look to it.

-- Dan Wiggins

View milesmiles's profile


6 posts in 2358 days

#13 posted 07-26-2009 02:50 PM

The smell of walnut and accepting or fixing your unnoticeable mistakes;
Sounds like working with and learning from my Grandpa!

Beautiful and clean lamp. THANKS FOR SHARING!

-- Miles

View huff's profile


2826 posts in 2375 days

#14 posted 07-26-2009 07:36 PM

Great detail. Thanks for the pictures. You did a fantastic job.

-- John @

View Ben Kahmann's profile

Ben Kahmann

231 posts in 2362 days

#15 posted 07-26-2009 10:13 PM

It is a great lamp and design and like Christopher said I am sure it will be imitated. What was your source for the paper in the lamp?

-- Ben Kahmann Dayton, OH

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