Peter Bloch
Making Translucent Wood Lampshades

The demonstration will be focused on the techniques, materials and aesthetics of making translucent wood lampshades on the lathe. My largest shades start as 250 pound chunks of Aspen, and end up under a pound and only a tenth inch thick. Lampshades are a niche aspect of woodturning, but I will extrapolate to show how these techniques and forms can be used to help with other projects relating to end-grain hollowing, thin-wall work, and reducing vibration. 

Peter’s career as a woodworker began 45 years ago, as a hobbyist making abstract sculptures. When he decided in 1981 to make this a career, he shifted to making functional work, but he retained his interest in organic sculptural forms. Woodturning was added to the mix in 1985, and over the many years, he has made hundreds of different items, from desk accessories and clocks to furniture and natural-edge burl vessels. As he developed the concept of translucent wood lampshades, he gradually dropped other product lines, and for the last fifteen years, almost all his focus has been on this specialty. Increasingly, his lampshades are for commissioned installations, where he designs and executes creations that match the aesthetics and needs of homes across the country and around the world.

Peter has an extensive website (, and a showroom-by-appointment in his home in New London, NH.