Example of a custom designed pendant

Hi, I’m Brenda Bolte

Creating handmade lighting for ambience and mood is my passion. As a visual and sculptural artist for over 25 years, I have experience working with many mediums in three dimensional space. I especially love capturing artwork with light because of the warmth and beauty it brings to people’s homes. Working with customers to create new artistic designs is an honor as well as great fun.

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Artist Studio

My home studio has a wide variety of papers and colors available to choose from. Papers can be blended and layered to create endless possibilities for a unique design.

Each pendant or sconce is hand-crafted one at a time to create the desired ambience for your home or business.

Want design ideas, or to view paper samples?

FAQ About Ambient Art Lighting

Customers may select any shape and any paper treatment. Every Ambient Art Light is built to your specifications and there are many options. Botanical elements can be included or not. Edges can be straight, scalloped or torn. Most sizes can be adjusted.

Imported decorative papers are utilized to turn your Ambient Lights into Artwork. Papers are laminated onto a sturdy material called styrene, which gives the lights rigidity and durability. Styrene is the same material used in traditional (plain) lampshades. The paper is artistically adhered with a non-toxic, non-yellowing white glue. This glue serves also to protect the papers so that lamps can be cleaned with a soft duster or cloth. With proper care, your unique Ambient Art Light will provide beauty for many years.

Styrene is the material commonly used in lampshades. Styrene is relatively sturdy, but it can crinkle or dent if handled roughly. Therefore it is best to handle sconces from their backs, or even to reach inside to hold the electrical fixture while hardwiring into the junction box. Wearing short sleeves might be helpful when mounting sconces with twigs.

Similar to sewing, construction begins with a pattern which is traced onto styrene. Selected papers cover the inside and outside of the “shade”. Paper is pulled and worked over the edges so no styrene is exposed. With sconces, the final product is a one-piece unit: sconce shade is attached to an MDF (medium density fiberboard) back and the electrical fixture is included within.

Ambient Art Lights are constructed using UL approved electrical parts (sockets, cords, switches, plugs, etc.). The lights themselves will not have UL stickers. Sconces and Pendants are usually constructed to be hardwired into electrical boxes, but upon request, can be built using a cord, plug and toggle (on/off) switch.

Lightbulbs used are primarily candelabra bases; that is, the bulb is smaller than an ordinary household bulb, but gives out comparable light using less energy. The recommended incandescent wattage is 25 or 40. Fixtures for standard sized bulbs can be used with larger sconces and pendants. LED bulbs are recommended for the life of your shade.

The lumens emitted from the lamps and sconces are surprisingly bright, especially with the lighter papers. During the day the lights will be lovely to behold, but when the sun sets and they are illuminated – they will sing. Consider using a dimmer switch for a completely ambient experience. Please also keep in mind that these are not reading or work lights, they are Ambient Art Lights.

When two sconces are ordered they are usually built as “bookends”, mirror images of each other, unless otherwise requested. When multiple lights are ordered, no two will be alike, this is by design. Most sconces can be hung vertically or horizontally, please advise directionality at time of order so that mount hole location can be placed appropriately. Sconces can be positioned pointing “up” or “down”. Occasionally I write a left or right on the lights (assuming they will be on the same wall), this is merely a suggestion, always trust your instincts and position lights as your eye prefers.

Botanical elements are either purchased or gathered. Annually I harvest, press and dry local ferns from the Pacific Northwest. In Autumn I seek unblemished, appropriately sized, brilliantly colored, maple leaves. Immediately pressing the leaves insures that they will hold their color for years to come. If Skeleton leaves are desired, they can be made any color to best compliment your space.

Incorporating branches and twigs is the most challenging thing that I do. Twigs are added as the very last part of construction, and any misstep can be catastrophic. Care is taken to position each unique twig in a pleasing manner that does not stress the branch. Every twig is then sewn in place, at multiple attachment points, using a wax covered linen thread. Twigs that extend beyond the edge of the lamp can be trimmed shorter by using a garden shear. Holding the twig with one hand at the edge of the styrene ensures a clean cut.

I have built lights for home owners, contractors, designers, electricians and architects. My lights decorate yoga studios, spas, offices, restaurants and even a few banks. Of course they are also found in bedrooms, bathrooms, stairways, kitchens and living rooms.

When building these little lights of mine – I grow attached. I consider their futures, dress them up to look their very best, wrap them in plastic & ship them off to their new homes. Seeing photos of my lights in their new environments is always a pleasure.

Questions? Please contact me.

My friend, and founder of Ambient Art, Kate

Artwork knows no bounds. Art ebbs and flows through different mediums, influences, and hands. The Ambient Artworks created by Kate Rose Kilpatrick are stunningly beautiful. Soothing curves and natural materials glow from within, as too did Kate. A gifted artist, an amazingly organized and generous woman, Kate lived, loved, and created on this earth for 53 years. Together we spoke the languages of cancer and art. Working side by side, Kate encouraged me to bring my own artistic visions to the lighting designs she had been perfecting for seven years. I will be forever grateful to have known Kate and the special people who surround her. It takes a village to dance with cancer, but it takes an artist to find beauty along the way.

Photo of Kate Kilpatrick