We're over the moon about Parisian Julie Lansom's handwoven Sputnik lamps. At once super modern and defiantly grandma chic, these intricate lights feature patterns of colorful yarn drawn tautly around geometric frames. The multitalented Lansom (in addition to being a self-taught designer, she's also a photographer for the likes of Vice and Intro Magazine) grew up in a small town in the south of France, and opened her Paris-based design studio just months ago. We sat down with Lansom to get to know her—and her head-turning Sputnik—a bit better.
AC: How would you describe your aesthetic?
JL: My approach is quite simple. I just design objects that I would like to have at home. This is quite intuitive. I'm focused on shapes and colors, and I love to play with that. The objects I make are a combination of vintage and modern.
AC: What was the inspiration behind your Sputnik lamps?
JL: My dad is an art dealer, and I grew up digging through bric-à-brac. The Sputnik lamps are inspired by a type of lamp that was made in the 1960s, which had this notch system, but was made of poor materials in sad shapes and colors. I was inspired to use this system of notches and yarns to make something more modern and poetic.
I started working on the Sputnik lamps when I needed a lampshade for my flat. People around me started to show a lot of interest and seemed to love the idea that they could choose the shape and colors. I started making Sputnik lamps for my friends and family, and then it just got bigger and bigger. I never get bored making these lamps, because the possibilities are endless; there is so much to do! I'm still mostly working on commissions today—so people can choose their colors and each lamp perfectly fits its environment.
AC: How are they made?
JL: I design each lamp, then I have a carpenter fabricate the wooden structure. In my studio, I paint every piece myself and start weaving the lamps with the cotton threads. It takes a big amount of time to make each lamp. It's work that requires patience and passion.
AC: What sort of feeling do you hope the lamps evoke in those who see them?
JL: I'm just very happy when I hear that people like them! I really hope they help create great atmosphere... I think lights are the key element of a room; they can ruin an atmosphere as well as invigorate one. The Sputnik lamps make lovely shadows on the walls and ceilings, and add a feeling of calm and poetry.
AC: What are you working on now, and what’s on the horizon?
JL: I'm mostly working on the lamps; I spend a lot of time developing new shapes and colors for them. And I will be presenting Sputnik at Now! le Off at the Cité de la Mode et du Design during the Parisian Design Week from the 6th of September. I'm also working on a lot of other furniture ideas. This is all very exciting!
*All photos courtesy of Julie Lansom.