One of the interesting things about visiting open studios is seeing the artists in action. However, for the artist or maker it can prove to be a serious distraction; for those of us used to working on our own it can be difficult to concentrate and a challenge to make any worthwhile work while demonstrating our craft.
That's why during h.Art this year I decided to work on some pieces that were more involved than just small samples, but not so vital as to be a disaster if I messed them up while chatting to a visitor. They were for my own home.
Working on this one I received mixed responses – either people looked aghast that I should be creating something so far removed from my usual style, or they smiled knowingly as only an indulgent mother would!
My sons are delighted. There are three panels to the shade, each appliqued with a skull and crossbones. One can be seen as you enter the room, one from their cabin bed and the other from their chair by the window. I've really enjoyed decorating their room with their chosen black and white theme.
The second lampshade I have been meaning to make for over a year. Yes, lampshade makers also have bare bulbs hanging from their ceilings! I combined panels of plant-fibre paper with a map of France which I chose purely for its decorative potential.
The panels of colour are those I have used in the table lampshades (made many years ago) and the colours in the map echo my favourite Paris map cushion.
My husband gets back from Paris today - I wonder how long he'll take to notice the bare bulb is no more!