"The product of a collaboration between a potter and a collage artist, these hand-made one-of-a-kind lamps feature sewn-paper collage shades and wheel thrown ceramics accented by found objects."
Imaginary Lamp Empire is a business run by filmmaker and visual artist Mark Taylor, who lives and works in San Francisco and Mokelumne Hill, CA, a gold rush town located in the Sierra Foothills. All lamps are unique originals made by hand. Lamp shades are sewn-paper collages; lamp bodies combine found objects with hand-made ceramics created by artist James Aarons. All shades use heavy acid-free rag papers and are preserved with UV protection.
Imaginary Lamp Empire began when Taylor casually expressed an interest in learning how to sew. The next day a neighbor showed up bearing her mother's 1960's-era Singer sewing machine. After a few lessons, Taylor began stitching together the detritus found in his print shop, which consisted mostly of discarded screen prints. These became art pieces, and shortly thereafter lamp shades. Re-purposing a couple of lamps he had lying around the house, Taylor created his first "product." The basic formula was in place, and the “Lamp Empire” became slightly less imaginary.
The lamps fit in nicely with Taylor's visual art, which has found its way into the artist book collections at many U.S. institutions, including: the New York Public Library; the Library of Congress; Stanford University; the University of Southern California; the Palace of the Legion of Honor; the Rhode Island School of Design; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; and the New York Museum of Modern Art, among others.