This film is so beautiful and inspiring, and well I may have watched it a dozen times already, but each time I notice something new and I’m inspired all over again. It’s the story of two artists, Lâm Quảng and Kestrel Gates, a husband-wife team who work together to make handmade paper lights. HiiH Lights (pronounced ‘Hi Hi’) can be found here.
I really enjoy discovering how things are made. Here is Lâm and Kestrel’s process for those of you who would like to know more.
The first step is to form the armature. We use wire or bamboo, designing each lamp with the light fixture in mind for proper heat ventilation. The armature can be any form, shape or size. Often inspiration comes from flowers, sea creatures, insects, or an Asian aesthetic. The paper is made of an abaca and cotton blend, using a mold and deckle to form sheets. The sheets are pressed with an eight-ton press to bind the fibers. We apply the damp paper to the armature one panel at a time. No glue is used, just a soft brush to fold back the edges onto themselves forcing the fibers to bond together. Once the paper has dried taut, the piece is painted with watercolor paint using brushes and airbrushes. When the paint is dry a resin is applied, acting as a protective layer that strengthens the lamp structurally and gives the paper a translucent, glowing quality. The final step is to configure the electrical components, at which point the light is ready for installation.
Watch the film here.