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Meet the Maker - Lamps Studio Design

Following her desire to bring warmth to her customers’ homes, Deisy Sosa of Lamps Design Studio creates bold colour combinations and patterns using natural banana paper, for her one of kind lampshades, that characterise her Latino style and heritage, and the countries she’s lived in.


Starting her journey hacking Ikea lampshades, Deisy has honed her lampshade making skills and in turn has expanded her product range, to accommodate the scale of her striking designs, as well as developing her innovative Wine Glass Candle Lampshades!


We were thrilled to catch up with Deisy from her Toronto based studio for today’s Meet the Maker interview - read on to find out more about her story, design processes and inspiration for her stunning lampshades.

Hi there!

How are you today and what’s on your workbench?

Today, I'm excited to start this interview. I'm working from my small studio in the basement of our house, brainstorming ideas for new stacked home designs for a series of lamps I am making very soon. Since people really enjoyed the Latin Little Houses themed lampshades and luminaries of colorfully stacked houses, I would like to expand on that idea with Newfoundland jellybeans (Canada), Santorini (Greek) and Amalfi (Italy) neighborhoods, and their bold and unique color schemes.

How do you start the design process and where do you get your design inspiration?

My design process is deeply rooted in our experiences and learnings from our journeys. It’s like revisiting memories of places, cultures, traditions, and sensations that we’ve encountered as a family. These memories, enriched with the vibrant colors of joyous countries, tropical landscapes, and new cultural experiences, are what I reflect in my lamp designs.


As for inspiration, it comes from various sources including my heritage, memories, and places I’ve explored, both physically and online. I draw inspiration from nature and architectural elements, all infused with the lively Latino style.


My creative journey is ongoing and dynamic. Ideas often come to me even in my sleep. I jot them down in a small notebook, experimenting with color combinations. From there, I explore materials like Banana or Moreira Paper, or play around with fabric combinations. Using my iPad, I refine the designs and play with dimensions before finalizing the cutting phase. Sometimes, I adjust along the way to ensure the design aligns perfectly with my vision.

Tell us how you’ve learned the skills to make such stunning lampshades?

For me, it was all a self-taught learning process. I started by disassembling and reassembling lampshades from Ikea with my own designs. However, everything changed when I met Dannells, which supplied me with the materials and tools I needed to turn my dream into reality.


It’s clear that you have a love for using handcrafted papers in your designs. What do you feel handcrafted papers add to your lampshades?

Banana paper lampshades and luminaires represent an innovative approach to sustainable design, showcasing the versatility and beauty of eco-friendly materials. Crafted from banana fiber paper, derived from banana plant stalks post-harvest, these products exemplify a harmonious blend of aesthetics and environmental consciousness.


The process begins with extracting fibers from banana stalks, which are then transformed into durable and visually captivating paper. This unique texture and organic look add warmth and character to any space, offering a wide range of creative possibilities in shape, size, and design.


What sets banana paper lampshades and luminaires apart is not just their aesthetic appeal but also their eco-friendly nature. Banana plants are fast-growing, requiring minimal water and pesticides, making them a sustainable alternative to traditional paper sources. By utilizing banana fiber paper, my lighting solutions contribute to waste reduction and promote eco-conscious practices in design.


From minimalist lampshades to intricate luminaires, the versatility of banana paper allows me to create intricate designs that create stunning visual effects. The translucency of the paper plays a pivotal role in my lighting, diffusing light softly and creating a cozy atmosphere.


Overall, banana paper lampshades and luminaires embody my commitment to sustainability without compromising on style or functionality, making them a compelling choice for eco-conscious consumers who seek both beauty and environmental responsibility, in their decor choices.

When and why did you start making lampshades?  

I started making lampshades in September 2021, but the journey began in February 2019 when I started researching and preparing. The driving force behind this was to create something meaningful after our move to Toronto in 2015 and with this, to be able to reflect my family’s memories and experiences of the countries where we had lived. It was like looking through a window and reliving the memories of places, cultures, traditions, sensations, and experiences we’ve had as a family. I aimed to craft a warm and inviting atmosphere for my family no matter where we were. Additionally, I wanted to share this journey with my clients so they could experience the same emotions and memories that my lampshades evoke. Each piece is designed to express feelings, emotions, and memories through colors, textures, and patterns, touching the hearts of my clients and creating a connection that resonates with them.


What’s your favourite part of the lampshade-making process?

The process to making each lampshade is dynamic and I change around my workflow to accommodate to the needs of each design; however, I have two favourite parts: the color combination phase, where I take some time to research and pick a new color scheme for a lamp; and when I mount the paper design on the Clear PVC panel and see the light shine through it.


We couldn’t help noticing your very innovative Wine Glass Candle Lampshades. Can you tell us more about the product?

This idea came from my sister Mila, who lives in Spain. She bought one at a museum in Barcelona and asked if I could make something similar. From that point I started creating a winter collection after changing the material and improving on the designs I was shown. Since it was very well-received, I am now working on a more colorful collection that can be used all year round.

We noticed that you use a wide variety of shapes and sizes of shades, in both fabrics and papers. In your Etsy shop what’s your most popular selling shade?

The most popular item in my Etsy shop is the collection of Latin Little Houses made with handcrafted banana paper. These shades feature vibrant colors and striking textures, which, combined with the use of Brazilian banana paper, attract many customers.


How important are shows and collaborations for your lampshade making business?

Shows and collaborations are crucial for my business. At these events, I get direct feedback from customers, find new inspiration to create new designs, and explore networking opportunities. These experiences are invaluable to me.


What’s your favourite Dannells product that you use in your lampshade making business?

My favourite Dannells product is Clear Backing - Self-Adhesive Lampshade PVC, as it allows my paper designs to be illuminated and protected properly.

Any tips for new lampshade makers in business?

My advice for new lampshade makers in business is to be patient, believe in themselves, and have confidence in their vision throughout the creation process. It’s crucial to muster the motivation to push your creativity into your designs and stay persistent in pursuing your goals.


How long has Lamps Studio Design been in business?

Lamps Studio Design has been in business since 2021, when I started working on lamps for my home. Then, many visitors who came to our house praised my work, so I saw an opportunity to make lamps for others. After that, the studio as you know it began to grow to what it is today.

How do you organise and prioritise your time to meet the demands of your business and homelife?

Organizing my time is a challenge, but with the support of my family, who help manage different responsibilities at home and in the business, I can focus more of my time on my creations.


When are you at your most productive?

I am most productive in the mornings, especially when I have daylight coming through my window. The atmosphere helps with bringing in motivation and the energy to get started for the day.


And your favourite sustenance or snack when you’re working?

In the afternoons, I enjoy having a jar full of nuts and some fruits, along with either a café latte or a chai latte that my daughter makes for me. I also make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.


Could you let us take a peek at your workspace?

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

In the next decade, I envision having a dedicated studio space where I can create, teach courses, and showcase my lampshade designs. Expanding the reach of my lampshades to international markets and fostering a global presence for my brand is a long-term goal of mine. Additionally, I aim to build a supportive team, particularly for administrative tasks, to streamline operations and maximize productivity.


I also aspire to start a project where we can utilize autumnal leaves to produce our own paper, contributing to sustainability and resource utilization in my local area.


What have you learned that’s been invaluable to your creative process?

Patience is the most valuable attribute I had to develop; Working with special materials, both in origin and price, has required patience that has exceeded my expectations. When you work with your hands, there’s no “undo” button, so each step must be carefully considered. I’ve also learned to have a deep respect for the work of others, recognizing the value both economically and in effort that each material and technique entails, especially in custom orders.


Any new products or plans for Lamps Studio Design you’d like to share?

This winter, we will launch a line of fabric lamps I find to be quite exciting. The colors are wonderful, and presents an opportunity for creating true works of art.

Take a look at Deisy's incredible range of pendant, table and floor lamps, made from her signature banana papers on her Etsy site. Keep up to date with Deisy's colourful lampshades by giving her a friendly follow on her socials linked below.

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