How to make a Tom Dixon light
Or, the one where I was employed by the Tom Dixon factory for the day! Scroll down for the video.
As part of my prize for winning Best Kitchen in the London Home Design Awards, I visited the new Tom Dixon Factory to make my very own Etch lampshade.
The factory sits in the arches of Coal Maker's Yard at Kings Cross, and is part of the new Tom Dixon HQ, sharing the space with the boutique and the prep kitchen for the new Coal Office restaurant above. Whilst I was making a lampshade, there was a chef baking just across from me!
It's a creative space dedicated to in-house product experimentation where they plan to have events throughout the year. Over the summer, they have been running hands-on workshops making the Etch lampshade and the ceramics 'MUD' collection in partnership with Central St. Martin's. These have just ended but given the popularity, I'm certain they'll be something else in the pipeline
Onto the difficult bit. How do you make a steel lampshade without any sort of metal work experience?The Etch actually comes as dismantled as 22 components with tabs which twist to fit together. It's inspired by those old Victorian tin toys, but produced using high-tech acid etching (rather than laser-cutting). It's pleasingly speckled with tiny little holes which cast intricate shadows once illuminated.
Customers can now buy it flat-packed or fully assembled - and since it took a good hour to put together, with assistance by a very patient expert, I suggest considering your time! As with most craft projects though, I found it extremely relaxing and although it's not installed at home yet, I imagine I will feel suitably smug and rewarded when I can gloat to people that I made it.
After fitting all the tabs together, I used a pair of pliers to tighten everything in place, which was quite tricky once the shade was fully formed. The final panel slots in place with magnets so you can easily change the bulb, and you are given a cord and light fitting for an electrician to fit.
You get the idea here - this only shows half the process!
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I've been doing a major house renovation project in Queen's Park, so keep a look out for the finished lampshade there!