Ruth De Fraga Gomes comes from a fashion background, but retrained whilst her children were small so that she could work from home. She continues to glean inspiration from fashion and indulges her passion for fabrics, trim and embellishment through the craft; some say she is actually a frustrated milliner as her shades often resemble glamorous hats!
These days, Ruth works on lampshade commissions and re-coverings from a small studio and teaches lampshade-making courses in colleges and creative workshops.
Shades of Light: Making Tailored Lampshades
Traditional lampshade-making has, for many years, been a sadly overlooked craft, as cheap to buy and readily available modern card shades have become the norm. However, with the resurgence of public interest in make-do and mend and home crafts, as well as the desire to find something unique in a homogenous sea of chain shops, traditional fabric lampshades are becoming more popular.
An invaluable practical reference guide, which includes both clear written instruction and helpful illustrations, this book explores the history of lampshade-making, its trends and design inspirations. It looks at the technical elements required, shows the techniques needed to make the shade properly in the traditional way and then explores more advanced techniques such as chiffon swathing and knife pleating. Once the reader has understood the potential of the hand-crafted shade, he or she can begin the design process, even using creative skills from other disciplines.
The great thing about lampshade-making is that it doesn’t require a large financial outlay and can involve a lot of reusing and recycling. Only a small work space is needed and there is little specialist equipment to buy. So if you want to create something beautiful, unique and practical but don’t have unlimited resources or a wealth of technical skills, this entertaining and satisfying home craft could be just what you’re looking for.
Shades of Light is available to buy here.