1. Tess Wakeling

    Tess Wakeling


After studying a BA in Fine Art Sculpture at Cardiff School of Art and Design where her degree show was a large installation in paper, Tess Wakeling began experimenting with different materials before deciding to set up a business in lighting design. In 2015 Tess was selected for the Crafts Council’s prestigious Hothouse programme, and spent six months learning all about the ins and outs of being a designer maker.

Tess now produces her highly crafted geometric paper-cut lampshades from her studio above the River House café in central Frome – very handily situated for market days when Tess has a stall on The Bridge!

Drawn to the decorative elements of our world and inspired by a love of pattern and design, Tess’s work explores repetition, mark-making and surface design. She manipulates paper using cutting and folding methods to create geometric patterns that have depth and texture when lit. 
Tess has created a product that brings pattern and colour to a room with a subtle and shaded effect. Tess sources papers that are made by sustainable, centuries-old techniques in Nepal and Japan. After backing them onto heat resistant lampshade parchment she scores out the pattern by hand and then peels away sections of the design. The lampshades are all carefully constructed, hand rolled to finish, and have added details of sprayed internal frames and hand stitching down the seams.

Tess moved to her current studio as the market was growing quickly and after realising the quality of our designer-maker stalls she decided to join us.

Tess told us : “I don’t do any other single day markets but The Frome Independent seemed right for my work. For me, selling home wares most of which are made to order, it isn’t about selling stock on the day (although I do always have a few waiting for just the right home!). I treat my stall as a shop front for people to see the work, take a card and possibly place an order later. The Frome Independent has definitely increased my sales to local customers who really like meeting the makers face-to-face and hearing all about how a product is made – it adds value in a world of so many throw-away objects and I am seeing a much deeper appreciation of the handmade, handcrafted now.

There are so many talented makers at the market and many are now friends. Boop Design always has a lovely looking stall and I’m very drawn to her simple monochrome ceramic bottles with their tiny delicate line drawings.”
You can find Tess in our Designer Maker section on The Bridge on Sunday 2nd October or check out her website here.