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Monica Burke

Light Up Any Room

It’s amazing how Monica Burke can transform paper and electrical components. She deftly combines vintage images with a modern cylindrical silhouette to create paper lamps that are at home in any décor. It’s not easy to blend vintage and modern elements, but she strikes the perfect, timeless balance.
Monica Burke
Monica Burke
Light Up Any Room

It’s amazing how Monica Burke can transform paper and electrical components. She deftly combines vintage images with a modern cylindrical silhouette to create paper lamps that are at home in any décor. It’s not easy to blend vintage and modern elements, but she strikes the perfect, timeless balance.

Monica became hooked on lighting restoration while working for a vintage lighting studio in Portland, Ore. On her days off she would rewire old fixtures and make lamps out of found objects. When she moved to upstate New York, Monica started designing her own paper lamps, using sturdy, archival cotton paper as her “canvas” for vintage imagery. She finishes the edges in grosgrain ribbon, and treats the cotton paper with a nontoxic flame retardant for safety.

Old maps, postcards and stamps are part of Monica’s repertoire, and she mixes in nostalgic carnival scenes and mid-century modern themes, too. Some of her lamps use the element of surprise. With the typewriter design, for instance, a quote appears only when the light is turned on. Similarly, the Eiffel Tower is revealed in the backdrop of the tandem bike image, but only when the light is illuminated. It’s hard to choose a favorite -- each one is a work of art.