Founder of the wonderfully elegant and intricate 'Folded Side Project', Emma is the one woman band behind all things paper folding. We first showcased her sculptural light shades and paper decorations in November of last year, and have loved seeing her ideas flourish and her business thrive! We got in touch with Emma to share her story and craft with you all. Be warned... you'll soon be dreaming of origami light shades for every corner of your home!
Emma amongst the wild grasses in her garden
After a career in the city, you relocated to the Essex countryside, how are you finding a change of lifestyle?
I miss London for its culture and buzz but I love living in the countryside. I relocated a few years ago now and have since started a family, so London feels like a life time ago!
When did you first discover origami, have you worked in any other creative mediums?
I started folding paper after learning how to make Christmas Froebel stars. I thought it might be possible to make a lamp shade out of paper and after lots of experimenting and play I made my first folded shade and fell in love with the process. I have worked in several other mediums, I have a Knitting Machine which I inherited from my Grandma, I also worked in clothing design for over 10 years. I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember.
Emma's studio wall
You use different geometric forms in your designs, where do you find inspiration?
I am inspired by origami, architecture, nature, textiles, art, music, pattern, colour and photography. Experimenting in the studio allows all those influences to fuse together somehow.
How important is sustainability in your business?
From the very start I knew that I wanted my products to be sustainable. My Lamp shades are designed to last and are not driven by trend, they are modern and simple. All my products are made by myself in my home studio and I love that the product can be recycled at the end of its life!
What do you enjoy about the process of paper folding and do you have a favourite product to make?
Transforming a flat piece of paper into a unique three dimensional object is fascinating. I love how it changes, how it starts to take shape. My favourite product to make ….this is a hard one, I enjoy making new products, experimenting with paper to make new shapes and forms. I also enjoy making bespoke products, working alongside a customer to develop something unique to themselves and their home.
A view into the Folded Side Project Studio
Do you have any future plans, new design ideas or hopes for Folded Side Project?
I have been focusing on growing my online presence and being part of the online creative community. Alongside developing new products I am looking forward to collaborating with some other makers. I am keen to continue running workshops in the future and I am planning to create some make-your-own kits for Christmas time.
What small businesses or brands are you loving at the moment?
Oh wow there are so many lovely people making beautiful things. There are too many to mention! I have my eye on a beautiful piece of hand made clothing from The Old Rectory Clothing Co. Local to me is a fabulous florist called Buds run by Amy. Through lock down she delivered house plants and flowers which was fantastic.
I love, love, love Spotify, I’ve only been using it since January this year, a little late to the party, but I love being able to listen to all sorts of music. I like the way Spotify allows you to follow a trail and find new music. My current favourites are Bill Calhan, Kid Francescoli, Cate le Bon, Nick Cave, I love Tropicalia, and Daft Punk Discovery which my daughter insisted on listening to on repeat!
Folded Side Project Studio
//all images courtesy of Emma Fisher and foldedsideproject.com//