Glass Washi Lights
Glass Washi paper Process
The process starts with blowing glass then coloring.
The blown glass is crushed and inserted into the kiln.
The crushed glass stays in the oven for two days. It takes one day to cool the glass down to room temperature because the kiln reaches 760℃ / 1400℉. It’s a bad idea to wash the glass right away because it may cause the glass to crack.
Here, the designer composes the glass from the kiln into an orderly arrangement before applying the washi paper.
The washi paper making process is very wet. In winter, it takes three days to dry.
When the finished washi paper is too thick or too thin, it creates poor illumination. During papermaking, the designer pays close attention to details. The thickness must be just right. The glass arrangement must remain the same. The designer is sure to keep any dust from entering the wooden frame by removing dust from her clothing beforehand.
The papermaking tools are handmade.
The wooden frame is finished with urushi lacquer paint to protect it from humidity and mold. It also prevents the staples from rusting. This process takes three days.
Glass Washi Pendant Light and Table Light Process
Many prototypes were required to make the correct three dimensional form of the pendant lamp. This image shows the first test piece. The glass washi paper is wrapped around a plastic sheet. This prototype wasn’t successful because the natural and artificial materials don’t harmoniously blend. The designer concluded that the next prototype would be best if formed only by glass washi paper. This process, however, seemed extremely difficult at the time.
Prototype number 2 uses a metal wire as structure. The structure works, but it casts a distracting shadow on the surface of the washi paper.
Prototype number 3 uses a thin plywood frame at the top. Glass washi paper is wrapped and hung from the sides. Solvent was used to form and stiffen the glass washi paper into a round shape. After this test, the designer saw that the solvent might be strong enough without the plywood frame, so she decided to test this next.
The next prototype without the plywood frame was able to hide the plastic that connects to the glass washi paper, but it created a shadow where the washi paper was folded. This test was successful because the solvent stiffened the glass washi paper well.
The view from above shows the folded paper technique.
After the fifth prototype, the idea became a reality! The black shadow was eliminated and the three dimensional glass washi paper pendant lamp was born.
Washi paper is really strong. Traditional Japanese umbrellas are made from it. It is also used in Husuma and Shoji. (Japanese door) Because the glass in the washi paper adds lots of weight, the designer chose a stronger solvent to use in the hidden structural parts. This picture shows the process of curing the solvent through UV light.
Which Light bulb is the Best?
Clear light bulbs cast harsh shadows on the walls while frosted light bulbs diffuse the light. Incandescent bulbs get too hot and may cause the washi paper to burn. LED lights are a better choice becaues of their low heat emissions. Sadly, the single light source LED doesn’t create enough illumination, but the incandescent bulb does. Therefore, the designer chose a multiple light source LED because it casts beautiful color refractions on the walls through the glass. It also doesn’t produce harsh shadows.
The single light source LED produces strong illumation, so it seemed the best.
This bulb creates a hot spot of light near the top of the lamp, so it doesn’t make the table lamp appear very beautiful.
Filament LED bulbs work best for the table lamp. It evenly spaces the light and doesn’t get too hot after long uses. Clear glass bulbs cast beautiful refractions. The distance of the lamp from the wall plays an important role in this. If it’s too far, or the wall is too dark, the refractions won’t appear.
Color temperature affects people’s moods. The 2700K color light helps people relax and works as a bedside lamp. 6000K colored light helps people think straight and provides great light for studying. For the glass washi paper lamps, 6000K color light is mostly used because it illuminates the glass washi paper in a harmonious way. When a 2700K light bulb is used, the warm colored light and the cool colored glass begin to clash. 2700K works well with yellow and green colored glass. 4000K blends well with yellow and blue colored glass. 6000K is recommended for blue glass. In the end, the designer chose 6000K for the pendant lights and 4000K for the table lights.
After one month of trial and error, the Glass Washi Paper Lights are finished. All electric parts are safety certified by the PSE. Please enjoy the pleasant lamp at home. If you wish to purchase from abroad, please contact me.
updated on 2017.04.17