London-based designer Julia Lohmann is a master of reusing and recycling all kinds of natural and manmade materials. From preserved cow and sheep stomachs to found Victorian animal bones, the artist identifies unusual and unexplored substances and uses them to create her unique and sustainable product designs.
To create these Kelp Lampshades, Lohmann used a laser cutting machine to carve intricate patterns into strips of kelp. She then stretched the wet strips over rattan structures so that the layers dried in a variety of forms. The final results are these gorgeous, glowing shapes that can be used as the covers for everyday lamps.
From a distance, the light glows and twinkles through the raw seaweed. Lohmann says the inspiration to use kelp came from her residency in Sapporo, Japan. The large brown seaweed grows a little more than 3 feet per day and is extremely durable. The artist says, “Seaweed is an amazing material. We consume it almost every day–there are extracts of seaweed in toothpaste. But we hardly ever see the material itself, and I think there is a value in it that has not been fulfilled yet.”