Illuminiferous is a collaboration of lantern-makers Jacquie Rolston and Lin Ho-You. We love crafting lanterns and all things that glow or illuminate. We're both long-time members of the Vancouver Folk Fest lantern committee. Our creations start as frames of flexible bamboo sticks welded together by hot glue. A layer of tissue paper is skinned over the frame then reinforced by several coats of thinned white glue. Inside the structure, candles or small battery-operated lights provide the lantern's magical glow. We've also constructed several lanterns using fabric instead of paper illuminated with LED lights instead of candles. With these few materials, passion and ingenuity, we've made a menagerie of luminous animals, creatures and icons of geekdom.
Our lanterns usually appear at outdoor festivals and parades, but recently we've started experimenting with small-scale electric floor and table lamps to bring the magic inside. These handmade artisan light fixtures display much of the whimsy and none of the combustibility of our candle-lit creations.
We welcome commissions and custom work. Whether fanciful and curvaceous or symmetrical and geometric, we can build it. As handmade projects, lanterns can be very time intensive (upwards of 40 work hours) so large or complex commissions require a considerable amount of production time (weeks or possibly months). That said, we love a challenge.
I made my first lantern in 2006 when I began volunteering for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival Lantern Committee. I fell in love with lantern making. I could say I like the challenge of making bamboo bend into shapes it doesn't really want to, or figuring out how to arrange the candle and vents for maximum brightness and safety, but the real reason I love lanterns is I get to play with fire. Nothing like the possibility of a month's work going up in flames to keep things exciting. The other thing I love about lanterns is that they go best with people, parties and parades. The challenges with lantern making are making them more waterproof and storing them! I'm interested in using more natural materials to produce lanterns that are more environmentally friendly. Future daydreams include a giant illuminated puppet or a lantern with moving parts like a spinning a pinwheel driven by the heat from the candles.
Coming from a Chinese background, I've always loved lanterns and own an expanding collection of collapsible paper and silk ones. I first saw free standing bamboo ones in Toronto and vowed to find someone to teach me how it was done. A couple of years later in 2000, I moved to Vancouver and saw photos of the lantern procession at the folk fest. I knew I had to get on that committee which I did and have enjoyed over a decade of lantern building with other volunteers. Constructing the lantern's bamboo frame is a wonderful spatial challenge then papering all the polygons is an exercise in patience. When the lantern's finally lit the lambent glow is just entrancing. Lanterns look gorgeous in groups, and we hope to work on themed groups of lanterns that could be used in mini processions or stationary installations.