January 2015

I taught an absolutely lovely group of gals a couple of weeks ago in my sell out Shade School at Guthrie Ghani. As always, the room looked great; it really is a wonderful space to teach and learn in. Here I am, armed with handmade lampshade kits, masses of beautiful trims and a huge dome of brownies: Ready to go!

the beginning

After a brief introduction and a strong round of brews, we got started with wrapping our frames in preparation for pattern making.

wrapping frames

Between helping people with their wrapping, I pressed the fabrics that everyone had bought to make their bespoke shades. What a gorgeous selection!

fabrics new

Then we began pattern making in earnest: Hand stretching and pinning fabrics over the frame to get the perfect tension that makes a great lampshade. My classes are small – just 8 students – so there is lots of one to one time when you hit a difficult bit. Here I am helping Joanne who’d brought a gorgeous light weight fabric from her personal archives which was proving difficult to chalk. (We got there!)

one to one helping

And here we all are,learning how to get those annoying wrinkles out of the fabrics to create a beautifully smooth, taut silhouette.

group lesson pinningOne of my favourite photos from the day – pinning and beginning to stitch, and looking so happy! Also featuring my better half who came along to help make the teas!

group photo stitching

And before we knew it, the end of the day was upon us! We had a wonderful day and my lovely group did so well! Making lampshades to traditional methods involves lots of hand stitching so there is always some homework to complete your shade. This group have been amazing at forwarding me lovely pictures of their finished work.

Group photo

One of my favourites is Jane who had the confidence to go bold with her pattern and chunky trim.

Jane BakerMore beautiful work came in from Emma, Sarah and another Emma. Well done girls!

student workAnd purely for your amusement, here I am rolling around, 6 months pregnant after a great day teaching.

post shadeschoolIf you fancy learning to make gorgeous lampshades to traditional methods, there is another course on March 7th. There is limited availability and they always sell out so be quick and book here! This will be my last class for a few months as I take a break to have a baby. If you’d like to know when classes are starting again, email me at zoe@zoedarlington.co.uk and i’ll jot you line.