Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another lampshade

Interesting, what you can be inspired by. I recently went to see a funny and really entertaining Noel Coward play in the theatre. Even before the play started, the curtain was up and I could admire the beautiful stage setting. As opposed to the usual sparse stage design, here was a rather detailed 1920s art deco-inspired drawing room with a grand piano, arm chairs, a bar, shelves with books, mirrors etc. Particularly a floor lamp caught my fancy - and reminded me of a beautiful old floor lamp which my partner inherited from his grandparents. Inspired by what I had seen I decided to make a lampshade to go onto the art deco lamp stand.

When we found the lamp it still had a shade. Over the years, however, the shade somehow lost its fabric and became a battered old skeleton of its former glories. It actually ended up in the garden (see above), to be used as a wire trellis or climbing aid. I rescued it, washed it and sanded it down.

The plan was to make one of those fantastic tulle-covered lampshades with crystals hanging inside. I had some ready-made net curtains which were exactly the right material. Except they were shiny silver coloured, not black. I tried to dye them, but the synthetic material didn't take the dye. So I had to work with silver tulle. I cut the material and then pleated it, not very neatly, as is my impatient habit.

Then came the difficult part: covering the lampshade skeleton with the fabric. I actually did that with the sewing machine, by fastening the fabric with clips and then sewing on the lower rim of the shade. The upper rim had to be hand-sewn. I used some silver thread for that and it was actually easier to sew regular stitches than I had thought.

The real stars of the shade, however, are the crystals that hang inside and sparkle in the light. I got hold of some large plastic crystals in a German crafts shop and also used lots of small transparent beads from my eclectic bead collection. Together with my daughter I strung the beads and crystals on nylon threads.

Ready! The shade definitely looks handmade - a bit irregular and improvised. But hey, it'll do for a while. Unfortunately the old lampstand is not rewired yet, so I just took a picture of the shade on another floorlamp to show the finished project:


pepper said...

ooh i like very much!
x Pepper

Sonja @ Craft-Werk said...

oops - really late in realizing that you left a comment, Pepper. Thanks very much! And just to let you know that I really enjoy reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

How did I ever miss this post? This is pure genius! Beautiful, Sonja