In Search of a New Art Form — The Ubiquitous Lampshade

Lampshades as Art, A Serial (and New Art Form)

Submitted 5 months ago
Created by
Dave Celone

My Quest to Create a Lampshade

This story will come back to you again and again in differing evolving forms during these next several weeks. It’s all about my quest to learn to paint a lampshade with Ken Blaisdell, owner of Lampscapes in White River Junction, as my guide.

Lampscapes is at 49 Gates Street in White River Jct., VT. It's about to become my one-day-a-week home away from home on Wednesdays this summer.


Ken has been painting lampshades for over twenty years. For at least the past fifteen of those years, I’ve admired his work and brought much it into my life. Ken’s lampshade creations are quite simply the most beautifully illuminating art shades in the world. This is no joke. Ken is a serious artist and painter who will go to great lengths to find the exacting colors his work requires. If it’s a cadmium red he’s after, he’ll find the cadmium powder and mix it up into a paste of paint that will blow your mind as you see its lampshade backlit and beaming. The shade, for Ken, is merely the medium to present his art. For me, it’s all about the light that emanates through his art and into my bones. 

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When you bring one of Ken’s shades home, it will color your world with its illuminating brilliance and effervescent beauty. A shade made by Ken is a piece of original art, plain and simple. And the even better news for those in the market for a new lighting presence in their office or home is that a shade won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Some might expect to pay many hundreds of dollars for a hand-painted, hand-signed lampshade made in Vermont that will effortlessly throw its brilliant colors and designs throughout your favorite room. Of course, some of Ken’s commissioned shades will cost that much and more, but most are far less expensive, even as they are equally as beautiful.

One-of-a-kind handmade shades by Ken Blaisdell are art of the most brilliant variety.


Starting this Wednesday, June 27th, I’ll work with Ken to learn to make a lampshade. And then to paint it, sign it, and attach it to one of Ken’s lamp creations that are as beautiful as they are functional. I plan to allocate a day each week, Wednesday’s, to this new artistic field of lampshade making. Feel free to swing on by to see how I’m doing. It may be slow going, but to have the opportunity to learn from a true world-class master of this artistic craft is an exciting prospect for me.

Details and colors merge in a circular, pleated dance to create art for your home.

Unique ~ Affordable ~ Brilliant

Even if you don’t like what I might be making, you’re guaranteed to find plenty of work by Ken—the most beautifully illuminating art pieces in the world all around the Lampscapes studio and showroom. It's directly across from Northern Stage’s Barrette Center for the Arts. Hey, this is White River Junction, VT…what else would you expect but art in a whole new form—lampshades, lamps, paintings and other artistic creations made by Ken Blaisdell’s guiding and experienced artistic hand. Brilliant!

 Hope to see you on Wednesdays this summer at Lampscapes.

Directly across the street from Lampscapes is the Barrette Center for the Arts at Northern Stage.

Art abounds around here.


Dave Celone is a writer, poet, fundraiser, and consultant (and maybe soon-to-be lampshade painter) who works with people and organizations here in the Upper Valley NH/VT region and in places as far flung as Eastern Europe and Central America. He writes about all sorts of interesting things related to the Upper Valley, food, art, and our natural world. Art, in the form of writing, is a passion he’s followed for decades. Click Here to follow Dave each time he posts, or visit the following link to sign up to read his articles for free: 

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