BELFAST BAY SHADE COMPANY
In keeping with Maine’s long tradition of cottage industries, we are a small start-up located above the historic Post Office and Customs House in downtown Belfast, Maine. A sculpture, fine art print studio and learning laboratory for innovating materials and design since 2005, ThePost Office Studio Workshop became the home of Belfast Bay Shade Co. in 2012.
Responding to a request for a gallery installation of prints to fill a cider barn in 2007, our fine art prints quickly evolved....they came off the wall, out of the frame and became illuminated sculpture in a matter of months. Influenced by American Folk Art, the Arts and Crafts Movement, and Japanese Akari lanterns, our line of fine art lampshades is a fusion of styles from the classical to the contemporary. Our shades have been likened to fire light and glasswork with two distinct life forms -- unlit they are fine art prints, and electrified they are glowing works of art with the utility of lampshades that can transform the spaces they inhabit. Retaining the character and idiosyncrasy of commissioned studio work, we have made a lampshade that is versatile, collectible, affordable and remarkably durable.
The Midcoast Community & the Green Creative Economy
While our botanical motifs are drawn directly from the woods, gardens, fields and pastures of our home in Midcoast Maine, our commitment to a fine artisan-crafted product made with domestically sourcedmaterials counts us among the growing number of local entrepreneurs committed to practices that are both economically and ecologically viable. Among numerous cutting edge micro industries whether in renewable energy, crafts or family-owned market farms, Maine’s Midcoast is a magnet for entrepreneurism and sustainable living and Belfast Bay Shades feels right at home.
We are constantly evolving, so check us out in a couple months and you’ll get a glimpse of what’s to come.
Why just look at art when you can live with art?
A painter and sculptor for 25 years, it was on residency at Vermont Studio Center in 2007 that Dina Petrillo developed a novel method for printmaking that would change the trajectory of her work in two and three dimensions for the next 5 years. She began making prints that combined brilliant color with a deep emboss on durable translucent papers and this presented new possibilities for working with illumination. For gallery installations and then custom work for homes, these early ‘light forms’ of encaustic and sailcloth sewn to wire meshes are the predecessors of our contemporary shades. In 2012, Dina together with her husband Ryan Herz decided to refine their shade construction while retaining the fresh printed aesthetic and rich materiality of what is now Belfast Bay’s handcrafted lampshades.
Dina runs the Post Office Studio Workshop in Belfast and teaches printmaking and sculpture with the University of Maine. She holds a BA in Human Ecology, an MA in Arts and Art Education and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. A show of prints and sculptures titled “Creatura Botanica II: Human and Plant Forms Conjoined” opened at Castello di Galeazza in Emilia-Romagna in April 2012. Selected works are held in the collection of Corte Eremo, Mantova Italy and the remainder will exhibit on the Maine coast in Portland, Bar Harbor, Brunswick, and Belfast in spring and summer 2013. Dina Petrillo lives in Thorndike, Maine with her husband, three dogs and two goats.
We make all our own printing plates and our durable handcrafted shades are printed and constructed in our Belfast studio. We print on etching presses and ink each plate individually to produce one-of-a-kind fine art prints in a wide variety of colorful motifs. Our papers are 100% archival and all our shades are treated with UVLS polymer varnish to help prevent fadingfrom UV light with a finish that discourages dust build-up and can be easily cleaned.
All our shades are titled, dated and signed by the artist.
Our shades are made with versatile NORD lamp fitters for use with regular and candelabra bulbs. Euro or Nord fitters work with commercially available swag cord sets as well as pendant fixtures for track, hardwire ceiling canopies or wall socket. Our shades can also be used with table, floor lamps and wall sconces and can be adapted for use with traditional harps. Shades on any kind of lamp fitter rings can be ordered for specific designs. Fixture adapters for candelabra, and washer tops are available. Contact us for custom orders to select, colors, shapes, sizes and motifs.