I have always loved lighting and what it can achieve in any space. With a little thought, lighting can elevate a space from a square soulless box to a place you really want to spend time in. And isn’t that the essence of every home? That’s certainly my belief. It was while trying to create a home that I wanted to spend time in that I discovered the art of lampshade making.
During my last big house move, I experienced what I call my lampshade epiphany. I had a very specific lampshade in mind for my living room, and had a complete vision of it in my head. Through extensive research I found something very similar, but it wasn’t quite right and the price tag attached was completely outside of my budget. I will let you into a secret that even my partner doesn’t know about: I so nearly bought it, until a little voice in my head told me to try and make one myself. I dismissed this voice for a few days, until I was at the rubbish tip and found an undamaged, but rather sad–looking, Empire lampshade. It cost the same as a cup of coffee, and it is the best money I have ever spent.
It was the beginning of an amazing journey that I am still on.
This book is a celebration of the lampshade. Lampshades really are a thing of beauty. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can be made from all manner of materials. We are going to concentrate on the art of making lampshades using fabric that is stretched in various ways over a wire lampshade frame. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, quite the opposite — most of my lampshades are reuse projects.
I love the idea of taking a tatty vintage lampshade and injecting new life into it. In this age of mass-produced, cheap lampshades, it’s a breath of fresh air to be able to create something for the home that is unique, personal and doesn’t break the bank.
‘Lighting is the unsung hero of design.’ - Jonathan Adler
This is an extract from Handmade Lampshades by Natalia Price-Cabrera, published by GMC (£14.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)