Inspired to make...

Inspiration to pick up and needle and thread and start making comes from all sorts of places…. the perfect colour silk or a vintage frame you can’t live without. Joanna tells how her experiments with Indian blockprints and saree trimmings came about….

What are you currently working on?

A tall empire drum shade which I am covering in block printed Indian cotton fabric and saree trims.

Sounds unusual. Is it for you?

Yes… eventually. I am making it to show off what can be done with block printed Indian fabrics. The colours are exhuberant, and I love the imperfections, wobbly bits and splashes. And I totally love the saree trims… sequins and embroidered bling. They are the opposite of what we consider to be suitable passementerie for lampshades in Europe. I am enjoying bringing the two together and trying to make it work as a beautifully balanced design… not ending up with something that looks like a Christmas tree.

Where did the idea come from?

The huge pile of block printed cotton fabrics that we have amassed in the workroom while researching our online gathered lampshade Lesson in a Box. They looked glorious all mingled together. The trimmings – which I first thought would be too over the top – looked absolutely great with them too.

What do you love about this lampshade?

The fact that the shape, gathered technique, blockprinted fabric and blingy saree trimmings work so beautifully. In truth, when I began I was half expecting it to be a garish disaster… but I love it. It doesn’t look riotous, but cohesive. Happy indeed.

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