Swayed by the Shade - Page 4

Three enterprising artisans who keep the modern spirit alive with authentic replicas of mid-century lampshades
Swayed by the Shade
Henry Fancher of Retromod Design in his studio near Portland. His goal: "making great quality mid-century-style shades and selling them at much lower prices than any of the competition."
Swayed by the Shade
Swayed by the Shade
Two eye-popping multi-tiered lampshade repros from Retromod.

RETROMOD DESIGN

Henry Fancher was inspired to try his hand at creating mid-century-style fiberglass lampshades soon after he and his wife purchased their home outside of Portland. That was ten years ago.

"At the time I kept buying up great vintage lamp bases for almost nothing, thinking finding shades would be simple," he recalls. "Oh, boy, was I wrong about that!"

To Fancher's surprise, he discovered it was nearly impossible to find authentic vintage shades in good condition, and especially in the colors he was after. He noticed that there were a few shops making reproduction fiberglass shades, "but the high prices were such a turnoff to me," he says, "that I decided I would try to make my own."

That's when Fancher started up Retromod Design (aka JetSet Design for his Etsy store), which he operates today out of his studio in Eagle Creek, near Portland.

He says Retromod's goal is "making great quality mid-century-style shades and selling them at much lower prices than any of the competition." In order to stay on target, Fancher works hard to keep his own costs down.

"I made a deal with the fiberglass manufacturer," he says, "bought in very large quantities, and even became the sole distributor of the coated fiberglass parchment that I use."

Retromod carries a wide array of fiberglass colors, available in burnt orange, yellow, tangerine orange, white, turquoise, olive green, teal, ivory, pink, and red.

Fancher welds all the shade frames, and hand-paints all the colors and patterns, from simple arcs, multi-arcs, atomic starbursts, and crosshatch to matchstick patterns.

Retromod mostly sells shades that are fully assembled. But also, in an effort to offer a lower-priced alternative, they market lampshade kits, which do require some assembly. (Instructional videos are found on YouTube under 'Retromod Design Fiberglass Lamp Shades.')

 

Photography: courtesy participating artists

 

STORY RESOURCES

Modilumi
Studio & retail location in Twin Cities, MN
modilumi.com

Meteor Lights
Studio in San Francisco, CA
meteorlights.com

Retromod Design
Studio in Eagle Creek, OR
retromoddesign.com