Lampshade #2 – A Journey

I’m back with another lampshade!!  

So the first lampshade went really well and I’d gotten my hands on these lovely bell shades at goodwill for $3 a pop and wanted to try my hand.  These shades are all fabric, no ‘plastic-ish’ lining to work with so I was unsure how it would go.  It seemed the only way to figure out was to just dive in … so dive I did.

Per tradition it all started with a sharpie and some doodling and swirls and lines and simple fun goodness.  Now, truly, I could have stopped with just this BUT the sharpie isn’t as opaque as I would like and the light just shines right on through that stuff.  Also, color is fun.

Here the india inks arrived, wet and sloppy and troublesome but I persevere, to such a degree I have no pics of the ink work in progress aside from the initial blue and some darker purple I tried to use for shading.  Note the yuk area on the bottom right … that did not go so well.  Sometimes the fabric gets too saturated and then ugly things happen.  Also, it soaks through to the back if there’s no plastic barrier.  So the inside looked bad my people.  BAD.

I embraced the bad inside and focused on getting outside how I wanted, I figured I’d sort out the inside later … part of riding the wave.  Just letting the mistakes happen and trusting I can find a way – or that I can pitch the whole thing and chalk it up to a lesson.

I really wanted a blue/orange ‘Orangina’ inspired shade, mostly because those colors make me so happy and also because my daughter hates them and rankling her is part of my daily joy.

Outside is solid and I am SO PLEASED.  Now, the inside was a mess – again, no picture because I’m good at many things but documenting myself is still a bit of a struggle.  The light came through in a million different ways when I turned the bulb on.  

Here’s where the gamble set it.  I had black acrylic paint, which I knew would be opaque enough BUT I didn’t quite know what would happen if I tried to coat areas of the inside.  Would it seep through?  Would it all be trash?

It was not.  To my great delight the paint didn’t soak through.  Now, I was careful and applied in two thin coats.  The first coat seemed to act as a bit of a barrier and once it dried I felt I could do the second a little thicker.  So off I went, selecting the areas I wanted the light to penetrate.  I wanted this one to be a bit darker and I wanted the light to shine through pretty strategically with the pattern on the outside so this was slow going .. and absolutely successful.  


And it does just what I had hoped.


So what did I learn?

1. I’d like to plan the doodles a tiny bit better so that I can have light areas places more strategically for visual pleasantness.  I am not unhappy with this result, but have a different vision for the next one.

2. Cloth lampshades are delicate and troublesome, particularly older ones that might have some grease stains on them which will inhibit the absorption of the ink (I had to google how to spell that, I would have sworn there was a b in there).

3. I’m best served trusting my gut with things and hesitation can be valuable but also can  feed insecurity, Imma start flinging myself a bit more fully into this shade work.  There will be big mistakes on the horizon.

I’ve been asked when I will put the shades up for sale in the shop and I will, at some point.  Right now I do want to focus on keeping them around so I can look at how I did specific things on previous pieces.  There’s a big learning curve here and having the physical items for reference really does help me as I proceed.  I looked at that first shade a bagillion times as I moved forward with this one.

All y’all, this is a marvelous good time and it’s so very exciting to live with this in my bedroom right now and pop it on in the morning … and I smile, every single time.  I really can’t wait to get these out into the world and know that someone else is smiling at them too!

All my love to you, my people.  Stay cool (or warm, I don’t know where you live!) and be excellent to yourselves.

With love.

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