Tom Dixon's copper shade is made from plastic polycarbonate and coated with copper for a highly reflective surface. The shade was made by blowing the mold into an open-ended sphere, purposefully mimicking the look of floating bubbles. Dixon used his own proprietary method to form the mold using a complex vacuum metallization method that heats the metal in a vacuum chamber to its boiling point, which can then get deposited on the non-metallic (in this case plastic) surface. Due to this intense process, the Copper Shade has a seamless coating of metal over the light-weight plastic.
Although Tom Dixon uses complex and innovative methods in his product design, he is actually all self-taught. Dixon's designs have always had an artistic flair, which was how he originally got started in the furniture design business with scrap metal and recycled materials as his medium of choice. Eventually, through work with Cappellini, his designs were available on a wider scale. However, it wasn't until 1998 when Dixon was made the head of furniture retailer, Habitat, that his designs were more accessible by everyone.