Monday, 7 January 2019

A little light reading

Lesley assured me that making a lampshade was easy.

Lesley makes beautiful bottle lamps at her garden studio in Peebles (which I blogged about here) and creates the shades from prints of her paintings and textile artworks.

Despite her assurances, I still felt a bit hesitant even though there's good online instructions for the lampshade kit with accompanying Youtube videos.

When I discovered that Catriona at OTM Designs in nearby Durno was running a class to make a lampshade from the same Need Craft kits as Lesley uses, I jumped at the chance to learn from a local expert.  We had the option to create a lamp from vintage teacups or from an up-cycled bottle and I really fancied making a bottle lamp of my own.  There are so many pretty bottles around at the moment.

Durno is a tiny wee place but is a hub of creativity.  Located next to Louis Little Haven, with its tempting array of vintage furniture and homewares, is the workshop space Catriona of OTM Design shares with Fiona of Create With Us.  

Recent workshops had included lino cutting, ink canvas painting and corn dollies demonstrated by Elaine of Something Corny.  Lino cut is definitely on my wish-list to learn in 2019 .

But we were here to learn about lampshades and Catriona patiently talked us through the process of making a fabric lamp shade and demonstrated what to do at each stage.

I'd taken along my own fabric and an empty bottle of Glen Garioch whisky, delighted that the local Oldmeldrum distillery colours coordinated so well with our lounge curtains!  Here are the three lamps produced that day on the course.

Here's my lamp in our lounge.

Being creative in one craft fosters creativity in others I have found.  In the same month I learned to make my first lampshade, I was attending a series of four weekly workshops at Blue Sky Mosaics near Kintore.  

There's a category for mosaic on the top bar of my blog if you want to read about  the other mosaic artworks I've made with Ann at Blue Sky.

I remembered a really plain beige lamp in our spare room, bought hastily and inexpensively years ago when unexpected visitors were due.  Had its time come for a transformation?

I took the lamp base along to my next workshop day at Blue Sky Mosaics and was soon adorning it with pretty tiles, beads and glass nuggets.  It's an extremely therapeutic process.

As I'd delved into my box of spare fabric to find the lounge curtain leftovers, my hand had happened upon a remnant that seemed ideal for this project.

And I was now armed with the skills to make another lampshade.

The lamp base was almost finished.  Grouting is the last stage in the mosaic process - a messy but rewarding task as the end is in sight and the full beauty of the mosaic is revealed when the excess grout is removed.

I'm not sure yet if the completed lamp looks most at home here...

...or here?

But I do expect there to be more lamp shades in my future (and more mosaics!)


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