Spotted these lovely wooden veneer lights by Randomlights on Etsy and asked Inga-Lill to answer some questions about her business and ambitions.
Who are you and where is your workshop? What is your studio like?
My name is Inga-Lill Aker, originally from Norway, i moved to England to do my Bachelor degree in Sustainable 3D Design. I now live in Brighton, and design and make Randomlights lampshades.
Randomlights are made in Cresent studios, which house studios for a variety of artists and designers, including a printmakers, painters and a tattoo artist.
When and why did you decide to start Randomlights?
Randomlights started forming slowly in the years following my university degree. While working my day job, i would dream of designing and creating things, and i was developing the initial stages of the wooden lampshades from home. The name Randomlights comes from the way the first few lampshades came together; playing around with the thin wood, the shapes were almost draped- and randomly became 3D. My designs are a little bit more defined these days, but i still do more sculptural pieces on commission.
It was a slow process to get everything going practically, but finally in 2013 i had the opportunity to take my business full time and move into my studio.
What originally inspired you to start designing lampshades?
I love working with wood, it had always been a part of my creative outlet since i was a child. I spent a lot of time building houses with my family as a child, and i was a part of making this great plyable, versatile and beautiful material into our home.
Learning to sculpt with wood carving was one of my favorite lessons growing up. Older, I found that using thin shavings of wood i could create sculptural organic shapes that would lend itself well to lighting. I love that it showcases the different wood grains and colours, and give a visual display in shadows and light to a room.
Why do you hand make your products? What do you get out of it?
The way a Randomlight is designed, it could never be truly mass produced or machine made, and i am happy that they cant!
My favourite part of my day is when i get to use my hands and create a lampshade for someone. There is a joy in moulding something with your hands, and i feel so lucky that i can make a living doing it.
Where can we buy your products and what new things are you working on?
My lampshades can be found on my website, I also sell through etsy and Notonthehighstreet. Currently i enjoy very much trading directly with people, be it my standard designs, or something custom. I also work a lot with Interior design companies and provide shades for their designs.
I have also been fortunate enough to be chosen to provide lampshades for all of Dunkin Donuts new shops in the UK. I am very excited about my lampshades being on show for so many people to see, and it will keep me very busy for the next 3 years!
How would you like your collection to grow? And where else would you like to see it sold?
Im currently working on developing and editing my lampshade ranges for this year, and I am working with new species of wood including oak, walnut and teak. As the year goes on i would like for my products to include table and floor stands as well.
What is the best thing about what you do?
The best thing about running my own business is most certainly making and developing things with my hands. Being my own boss is pretty great too!
Thanks so much Inga-Lill and best of luck with Randomlights, we love your work.
Tamra & Gwyn