Wednesday, 30 April 2014

in the shed this month...

six dining chairs, a two-seater sofa, a little caned chair called 'Marge', a plethora of cushions and two doggie poufs (!)... plus some days out being 'Upholstery Tutor At Large' at @theFarm, the WI's Denman College, The Makery and The Marmalade HouseApril has been even busier than normal. oh, and there was Easter too.

here are some shed highlights...

a lovely early 20th C sofa (nicknamed Barbie)

six much-loved and very old dining chairs restored, repaired and given a stripy make-over. here they are waiting to go back home...

a small fireside chair called 'Marge' by its owner, re-caned locally and recovered by me in GP&J Baker's 'giraffe'

a mid century reclining chair which looked a lot like this but with a sprung seat (the actual one got whisked away before i got my camera out). had a lot of fun playing with the reclining gadgetry

and it was nice to get my hands on some re-springing 

and then there were two doggie pouffes... 
i'd love to claim that they went home looking like this  wonderful thing by The Forest & Co... but my commission was to cover them in very tasteful red linen. hey ho.

which brings me on to lampshades. 

time ran out (i'm blaming easter) and April's 'Lampshade of the Month' is going to be late. as it's a self-imposed deadline i've decided that the big unveiling shall by some time later this week ;-)

Beyond the Shed

upholstery workshops continue to thrive and give me no end of happy days sharing my skills with lovely and appreciative folks. for details of forthcoming workshops @theFarm and at the WI's Denman College, click here and you should be transported to the right info. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Get knotted...

these knots and spirals had me engrossed all day

what goes on on inside is way more important than the tucks, frills and piping that usually get all the glory

every strip of webbing, coil spring, tack, length of cord, twine and complex knot is connected 

so the whole lot behaves like one being

this chair's lovely owner may never guess what a complex soul lies beneath its smart exterior

Friday, 11 April 2014

Selvedge Spring Fair 2014

...a Grand and Happy Day Out

it was the much-awaited Selvedge Spring Fair last weekend so i booked a train ticket and set off for what has become my fave day out in London. the route: 

1.Selvedge Spring Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall SW3, 
2.Liberty, W1, 
3.lunch (at Le Pain Quotidien) 
3.Berwick Street Cloth House.

what's not to like, and needless to say it was a indeed a very happy and inspiring day. this time, i was surprised to find the Selvedge Spring Fair was a much-reduced version of last years, with far fewer stands, hardly a queue and plenty of elbow room. it seemed as though there were proportionally less designer/hand-makers compared to folks selling bought and found wares too, but that could be just my impression. even so, there were enough innovative handmade wonders to keep me happy, and i enjoyed the event more for having time chat and not feel swamped by crowds.

here's my photo-diary of all the best bits...

8am: arrived v early at Sloane Square station. nothing was open so people-watched over porridge in Pret a Manger 
8.45am: looky look! 
in the window... Salty Seadog by Emma Cocker
...and a knitted fox head by Louise Walker

... had to cross the road to gaze through Heals window at these lovelies
all the lampshading goodies a girl could dream of
(by Dyke and Dean at Heals)
 9.30am: still closed... so all i can do is press 
my nose to the window 

9.45am:they've got a thing about birds 
at The Chelsea Gardener too

it's amazing who you spot when window gazing...

10.03am: yay! The Selvedge Spring Fair is open..
much smaller and less crowded, but very friendly and far less frenzied. still, i decided, worth getting up at 5.30am for 

well met... the lovely Grace Lane of Threadbare Production
her other-worldly creations

on the Selvedge stand, Sophie Digard's amazing crochet created on fairy-sized hooks
more Sophie Digard treasures

happy finds... quirky hat embellishments from Blue Linen
(would look just as fine on lampshades...)

i also met lovely Janine of Nordic Grey and tried on one of her handmade tunics... and realised she was the very same Janine who created my much-loved and admired 'hello my lovely' scarf bought at the Selvedge Fair three years ago. (unfortunately we chatted so much while trying on and pinning that i forgot to get my camera out) will keep you posted on the tunic ;-)

12.30pm: Liberty, W1 
my new Merchant and Mills 'factory dress' fabric

1.45pm: post-Liberty lunchtime at Le Pain with lovely sister Lulu (check out the backdrop)
2.45pm: Cloth House, No 47 Berwick Street.
(Liberty or Cloth House?)
(Daddy or chips?)
Lampshade of the Month: June?
don't know where to put my eyes
one very tired upholsteress

i could live here... 

the Selvedge Winter Fair will be in November 2014 xx

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Lampshade of the Month: March 2014 'Dickie Bird'

Dickie Bird follows hot on the heels of Lampshade of the Month: Feb 2014 'Jenny Wren' and continues the inside out and upside down theme with lovely vintage barkcloth teamed with linen and silk scraps. tweet tweet!

the fabric:

most of my lampshades start with the fabric and the idea grows from there. this fairly small piece of 1950s barkcloth found me at The Vintage Bazaar in Devizes. i love the colours and random geometry. Dickie Bird is defintely a he.

the detail:

as the 'top fabric' of my inside out lampshades hangs suspended within the frame, rather than stretched around it, the wire structure suddenly becomes important. i wrapped the verticals and square 'rings' using scraps of James Hare silk and bits of hand dyed linen, which i think look rather smart

the birds:

the aim is to add a new outline and movement to what can be a fairly rigid symmetrical structure. i hope they add humour without being silly. i chose the most beautiful I could find (Petra Boase)

the quality:

breaking the rules shouldn't compromise handcrafted quality. so Dickie Bird is finished with the strictest attention to detail and, of course, he is lined.


a final note:
if you'd like to see more Lampshades of the Month, have a look at the albums on my Facebook page. if you'd like me to make a unique lampshade specially for you, do get in touch. here's my website: The Traditional Upholstery Studio