Recently, I had the idea to try and work with lampshades as a platform for photographs. The idea being that a lampshade works much like a lightbox. It diffuses light.

I figured there were a couple of ways to do this.

One was to use a store-bought white lampshade. This would probably be good for things like emulsion lifts. I was thinking that an emulsion lift laid onto a simple paper or fabric shade would look pretty nice. Almost like a chrome on a light box.

The other idea was to make my own shades using say watercolor paper (I should be able to find a large enough sheet). I could do something like an image transfer onto it, then cut the shade out of the paper and mount it on some lampshade rings. Like wise one could hand coat areas with their prefered chemistry and do everything from Pt/Pd shades to cyanotype shades.

In theory.

Now practice is trickier. First off, the IDEAL method seems to be the second method. Make your own shade from materials you pick. A $10.00 shade from say Traget may have all sorts of coatings on it that will botch things up. That is fine and dandy, but I have only a vague idea of how to do this.

My issues -

1) Where to get the rings needed to hold the material in place. Shades usually have a small top ring and a larger bottom ring. Both have a slot that the material sits in. Pretty simple. But where do you GET something like that? I have no idea besides ripping apart another lamp shade (which would get me killed by my GF....).

2) What is the geometry you have to follow to make the ideal cone for a shade? The paper has to be cut exactly so that it forms a cone and matches the rings that hold it in place. Any ideas on how to figure that?

So, can this be pulled off? I am utterly bored and figure this could be a nice creative thing to play with. That is if it can be done easily.