Dappleshades are unique in that they bring the textures and patterns found in nature, to elegant paper sculptures. I’m Savyra Meyer-Lippold and I started trading as Dappleshades in 2010. I live near Cape Town in Fish Hoek with my husband Stephan and son Tony Scott who does all our tracings with his legendary patience.  

We relaunched Dappleshades as Shylight on the 16th May 2015, but this has turned out to be an ill-advised idea, so as of 21 November 2018, it’s back to the original name.

Paper sculpture has formed part of my work for years, sometimes as packaging concepts or an illustration style; a paper landscape for a Beacon shoot; ‘foliage’ for an exhibition stand…

Detail of exhibition stand
Detail of exhibition stand for a 4 x 4 car hire company

There was even a moth puppet (see below) for ‘Tallulah (a very small love story)’ a stop-motion animation which was shown among others at the Design Indaba Expo in February 2011. I think that’s how I found this brilliant material I’m using, because that puppet needed to be resilient. I had only one!

The making of Tallulah, moth puppet
Part of the process of making the Tallulah puppet

I also owe profound thanks to Marina Kotze, who sent me in the direction of Tyvek in my search for a very resilient but beautiful paper-like material. After positive comments on the paper-foliage blinds in my home, I launched DappleShades, beginning with the Foliar range.

This synthetic paper resembles rice-paper in its beautiful translucency and silky texture, is UV-resistant, very hard to tear, is fire-retardant and even washable – but gently, because creases take a bit of massaging to get out. Here’s a video from the Dappleshades Facebook page, instructing one how to do exactly that.

Most of the panels are individual art works that are handmade and can therefore be custom fitted to any window. We are planning to produce them in greater numbers though, using water-jet cutting, a technology that’s perfect for this purpose, and will soon be able to offer them to a wider market and obviously for a lower cost.

They’ll range in price depending on the size and design. Prices for the machine-produced product will be announced soon.

The beauty of these designs in a practical sense is that there is no limit to the length or breadth of the space to be filled, since one buys more panels to fill a space width-ways, and if they are hand-cut, almost any length can be specified and the material ordered accordingly.

There are currently 5 panel designs available including the Foliar range, but many more are in the pipeline – Nature never ceases to inspire.