frequently asked questions
How did you come up with the concept for your sculptured lamp shades?
Essentially it was an evoluntary process. Many years ago I started with one of a kind clothing pieces – hand painted and scupltured. The explosion in cheap fashion imports, effectively disposable clothing, really turned me off the business of creating new garments. I moved onto renovating recycled clothing, continuing to employ painting and sculpting techniques, essentailly treating each garment as a blank canvas... humm canvases... penny drop... I started using textiles on canvas to create 3D works, these often involved wire framing which had to be removed before the form was set on canvas... another penny drop... instead of removing the fabric from the framing and setting it on the canvases, I thought I'd try partial decoration of the wire and mount them on recycled bases... voila! Sultry Shades was born!
Where do you source materials?
Lamp bases - largely from charity and second hand shops, the occasional nature strip and friends or friends of friends that have lamp bases they no longer require.
Textiles – charity shops, fabric & garment sales & existing stock, I still have 100's of meters of fabrics out in the store room, not all translate to sculptured shades but many do....
Which comes first - the base or the shade?
Generally the base rules the direction of the shade... its height, shape and overall dimension determine the size and shape required to create a balanced piece. The exception being standard lamps. Through experience I have determined a range of dimensions that work for floor standing pieces. Unfortunately there seems to be a shortage of standard lamps in the second hand arena so I rely on a couple of very simple designs from Ikea to fill the gap.
What is your capacity? How long does each piece take to complete?
It varies greatly, some come together relatively quickly, say a weeks work. For others it can take months to solidify a concept, source materials and complete construction. So, as you would expect with any labour of love, my capacity is quite limited.
What kinds of workshops do you offer?
The workshops focus on renovating your own clothing. You have a garment in your wardrobe that you still love but have not worn recently, might be it's too small or too big, the shape dates it or it was never right for you but you still love the fabric. I provide the general equipment, machines, threads etc., we work together to determine what to do with it and you provide the labour, unpicking, re-stiching, painting! Any substantial lengths of additional textiles can be purchased at cost price.
How do people find out about you?
To date – word of mouth only, my first exhibition was in Mansfield during Spring Arts - October 2013. I now have a selection of pieces in two locations in Mansfield, namely Made in Mansfield and the newly opened Mansfield Art Gallery. I have also launched my website, so I'm about to become a slave to social media – maybe....