Monday, June 11, 2012

let's chat: with lucy laidlaw from shademaker design

I have been asked a few times about making lampshades and even though I love a craft or two, I tend to leave suchlike madskills to professionals.

Today's professional is Lucy Laidlaw from Shademaker Design.  As the name suggests she makeith the shades and said shades are awesome.

I use Lucy to make all my shades for clients and they always turn out beautifully crafted and to the highest quality.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
 I currently live in Christchurch and am a married mother of three children, one girl and two boys and have just had my 40th Birthday which is a bit of a reality check! 
I run my business from home which has worked well with fitting it into the day to day demands of family life. 
I have always been interested in crafts and design, and grew up with a mother who was constantly at the sewing machine and had a great supply of fabrics on hand. 
I studied Clothing & Textiles at Otago University and Millinery at the London School of Design, and then had the opportunity to work alongside my sister Mary who taught me the skill of hand crafting lampshades. 

I've never attempted to make lampshades but am I assuming correctly that it's a lot harder than you may think? 
Large shades are tricky as they need a large work benches and pattern making can take a lot of practise! 
Smaller drums shades can be easier, but every fabric type and lampshade shape seem to come with it own unique challenges. 
Some of the smallest shades end up being the most difficult to perfect!

Do you have any tips for anyone trying to make one at home?
Start off with attempting to make a modest size shade, thick paper or card for the pattern cut out, use good quality fabric, paper glues.  
I'm quite often asked about what products to use and the biggest problem for the home crafter is getting hold of the correct glues etc as they are mostly only available in bulk.  I buy them that way and I'm happy sell any products you need to try these at home. 
Patience and precision are also helpful!

After seeing your home it's beautiful, bright and full of colour - who/what are your design inspirations? 
Anything which makes me feel happy, or triggers good memories... I just love colours and textures that convey a sense of personality! 
I get a lot of inspiration from magazines, such as Australian Vogue Living and Living etc.... and of course reading Alex Fulton Design blog.

What's on the card for the future of Lucy Laidlaw and Shademaker Design? Focusing on producing shades that reflect my love of  beautiful fabrics, funky colours, and fun designs.
I'm also working on teaching some of my skills in some shade-specific workshops...details to come in the near future!

Thanks Lucy - you are too clever.

Go and 'like' her over at her facebook page.

Images:  Taken by Alex Fulton Design


  1. Clever Lucy alright - what a great skill. Love her scarf too :) x

    1. Thanks Vic, Need more than a scarf to keep warm today. Man it's brrrr.