Please, I need coffee! Are you the type of person who can’t function without a cup of coffee especially in the morning? I am. But more than caffeine, I need the coffee filter.
What do you do with your coffee filters after you brew your coffee? Throw them in the garbage? I collect and transform them into art. I handcraft lampshades out of recycled coffee filters. From trash to treasure – this is my work.
These lamps adorn coffee shops and living rooms from New York to San Francisco. I have an Etsy Shop, Lampada. My customers are often amazed to see used coffee filters being cleaned, dyed, and transformed into lamps that cast brilliant light—much like stained glass. For me, it is a labor of love that often takes multiple days of work to complete but is endlessly rewarding.
My work begins simply. A short stroll to my local coffee shop, a latte, and a brief chat with the barista, and our arrangement is made. They throw the used coffee filters in a bucket throughout the day – no landfill for these! I then prepare the coffee filters and weave each one into the frame of the lampshade that I have constructed. A lamp is born.
Old coffee filters can be used in many ways. They can be made into flowers, or be cut and glued on to canvas. They can be used in picture frames, photo album covers, or for covering the light switch plates. Recycling can result in beautiful art.
Vilma Silveira Farrell is Brazilian and, of course, a lover of coffee. She was a journalist in Brazil for many years but is now a stay-at-home-mom and the artisan behind Lampada. You can find her on Etsy and Facebook.