DIY: Pangolin Lantern by Cathy Chen – upcycleDZINE
Some time ago I came across a design on instructables that not only looked great, but is also inspired by an animal. Nature can be a great source of inspiration. Colours, motifs, structures, shapes, movements, etc. All these things can inspire a designer in creating a design.
In this case it wasn’t just an animal, but a very special and endangered species. It is called Pangolin and is one of the most trafficked mammals in Asia and, increasingly, Africa.

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Inspired to save the Pangolin

This beautiful creature was the inspiration source for a fantastic DIY upcycle design pendant lamp. The design is called Pangolin Lantern and is a creation by Cathy Chen, co-founder of Fab Lab El Paso [fb], a non-profit local makerspace in El Paso, Texas | United States. In addition to this beautiful design, she also wrote a handy tutorial explaining how to create this modern and artistic lamp yourself.
DIY: Pangolin Lantern by Cathy Chen – upcycleDZINE
Pangolin Lantern is roughly made out of two types of items: spiral pieces and used plastic spoons. The spiral pieces can be made by printing out PDF files and using scissors to cut or an Exacto knife to carve out the outlines. Another way is to use a laser cutter or a plotter cutter. The plastic spoons, without the stem, are glued to the spiral pieces. This is a very short version of what it is you have to do to create this design. But like I said, luckily Cathy Chen made a very clear tutorial with a list of materials, photos and a description.
DIY: Pangolin Lantern by Cathy Chen – upcycleDZINE
Back to the inspiration for this upcycle design lamp. Pangolins are scaly mammals that live in Asia and Africa. Like I’ve mentioned in the first paragraph, Pangolins are endangered animals.
According to WWF: “Pangolins are in high demand in countries like China and Vietnam. Their meat is considered a delicacy and pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine and folk remedies to treat a range of ailments from asthma to rheumatism and arthritis. All eight pangolin species are protected under national and international laws but that is not stopping the massive international illegal trade in pangolins, which has increased in recent years because of growing demand.” This is of course a very sad situation.
DIY: Pangolin Lantern by Cathy Chen – upcycleDZINE
Cathy Chen:

“With this lantern, I also hope to raise awareness about the plight of these wondrous creatures and halt their path to extinction.”

DIY: Pangolin Lantern by Cathy Chen – upcycleDZINE
Photos © Cathy Chen

Besides World Wildlife Fund there’s another way you can save these interesting animals. Save Pangolins is a nonprofit project whose mission is to conserve pangolins by transforming relationships between people and pangolins. Their aim is: “Inspire people to conserve them, change behavior that drives the illegal trade, and increase the capacity of conservation on the ground where pangolins live.”
This upcycle design pendant lamp is magnificent. Not only in the way it looks with its slightly transparent scales, but also in the story it tells and the message it’s giving.
And now you too can make your own Pangolin Lantern following the instructions in a handy DIY tutorial. And maybe you’ll add a twist and end up with your own version. Have fun.

Design by Cathy Chen | Fab Lab El Paso | Tutorial

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