We had the pleasure of visiting the studio of lighting designer and artist, John Wigmore. He combines the elements of sculpture, painting, and installation with Japanese papers for his lighting installations for both show rooms and personal clients. This time, we were able to ask a couple of questions and learn more about John and his work.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your artist background and company?
A: I graduated from UCSC with a BA in Art Studio and mainly concentrated on painting and sculpture. I got interested in natural materials and found that I enjoyed working with paper in my sculptures. I was looking at a lot of James Turrell and Robert Irwin at the time in the early 90’s and began making my light sculptures in NYC from Okawara paper combined with a heavyweight watercolor paper.
My first pieces were simple constructions usually made from wood rods and Japanese paper glued to a simple form. Later, I found that steel was a great material for its strength and rigidity as the basis for the frames of my sculptures. I could make steel frames that would fit my light sculptures into most any architectural situation including residences and commercial projects. Now, I am moving towards using different kinds of woods again as the frames for most of my pieces. It is challenging combining Japanese papers with a sturdy, elegant wood frame but they tend to have a softer and more natural feel.
Q: How do the differences in Kozo and Gampi papers work for you?
A: I generally use the Kozo papers mainly as a base to build upon and layer them up with a acrylic liquid. The Kozo papers provide a sturdy yet translucent paper finish that I can apply the delicate Gampi colored papers to. I love the array and texture of Gampi papers and usually overlap them to create darker hues and colors.
Thank you John, and we look forward to seeing more of your work soon!