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Meet William Leslie of Paper Sun Lightsculpture in North County

Today we’d like to introduce you to William Leslie.

William, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In 1976 I flew to Hawaii and moved into a house shared with a number of adults near downtown. There I met Stephan White, a trained architect who was developing a new form of unique, artistic lighting he then called “lanterns”. They had an appealing organic design and warm, inviting color I was immediately taken by their beauty and was invited to become his apprentice. I immediately accepted, thinking I would make these for a couple years and move on to something else after I ran out of ideas.

It is now 43 years later and I have created more than 1,000 light sculptures. I have more ideas than I can possibly fulfill. They can be found in homes, restaurants, religious institutions, hospitals, offices, shops, and hotels. Perhaps the most frequent compliment I receive is that they help people feel serene in their environment. I define art as what creative people feel compelled to make. They are happy when they are doing it, and not as happy when they are not. This is true for me.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Mostly finding studio space to work in. I have often used my bedroom in a shared home as my creative space.

Please tell us about Paper Sun Lightsculpture.
There is a lot of unique furniture and art out there to fill your home or business with, but not so much when it comes to lighting. What I make is hand-crafted and unique lamps/.chandeliers/sconces, etc. that are also works of art.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly, not much would I change. I pursue two fulfilling careers; teaching introductory philosophy and these light sculptures. Each fulfills a different part of my being. It’s a good life!


  • Size generally determines the price. I figure the cost of a piece by adding the height, width, and depth in feet and multiply the.sum by $150. So a chandelier that is 4’ by 3’ by 2’ would be 9 x $150 = 1350.

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