Ken Blaisdell opened his
store on Gates Street in 1997.
The pathway to making and selling unique shades did not begin with an artist’s intention. Using his educational background in engineering, Ken spent a number of years in industrial sales with access to a machine shop. Eventually he began to focus on “Vermont” resources, making lamps with different materials such as granite, soapstone, wood, slate and finally metal.
Ken came to painting by way of a course at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the 70’s. He really had no interest before then but we can see the fruits of his landscape and life drawing hobby are now sought after as fantastic design on lampshades. This transition to the three dimensional canvas shifted in about 95 when Ken started painting on styrene lampshades. Shocked at how the material lit up, Ken began experimenting with this alternative medium. He showed at the Norwich Farmers’ Market where people wanted to see more of the work and how he did it. Thus Lampscapes was born at 77 Gates Street!
Here in 2018, Ken searches through drawers in the back of the studio. There’s a clang and clatter. He retrieves several components and demonstrates a swivel joint holding a section of reamed out pipe with added thread and reducer. The pieces tie together and act as a free joint. Ken’s attachment to these metal workings is evident and rightly so... as they are emblematic of his own connective history.