And now for something completely different! Homefront Interiors is a wonderful treasure-trove of a shop on Margaret’s Buildings, a little pedestrian street at the quiet end of town, lined with fabulous independent businesses. As well as selling all sorts of gorgeous decorative pieces, textiles, furniture and jewellery (much of it sourced locally), there’s also a space downstairs where owner Vanessa offers courses, and when she asked if I’d like to pick one to review, the lampshade-making caught my eye. It’s definitely something I’ve never done before and I was intrigued.
Prior to the course, you’re asked to purchase half a metre of fabric to make your lampshade – which might sound like an extra cost, but actually is really sensible as it means you can make sure the finished product will go with the room you have in mind. I popped into one of my favourite shops, the tiny overstuffed Green St Fabrics (full of exciting finds and with lovely, helpful staff) and picked out some cotton in rich oranges and reds.
The course itself was hosted by Sally Dove, a Bristol artist, who also makes lampshades to sell and to commission, using her own beautiful fabric designs – check out Sally Dove on Facebook. As she talked us through the process, from lining the fabric with stiff PVC to hold its shape (this bit had never occurred to me) to the nerve-wracking moment where you have to roll it onto the two rings which form the top and the bottom, doing both at once and trying not to go cross-eyed, Sally was creating her own lampshade, which meant it was all really easy to follow. She was extremely kind and patient, and we all ended up with something rather fabulous – my lampshade now sits on my bedside table and I must admit, every time I look at it I feel proud of how neat and professional it looks. This was a delightful thing to do and you come away with a beautiful souvenir, so I can’t recommend it enough. Sally also sells lampshade kits, if you want to have another go at home – and of course, if you don’t fancy doing the hard work yourself, you can buy her beautiful lampshades in the shop upstairs.
£48 pp for a three hour course with tea and cake provided, including your own lampshade to take away. For more information, visit the Homefront Interiors website.
|My finished lampshade|
|And the real deal, from the fabulous Sally Dove|