Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Lampshade Making Studio Workshop

An Introduction to Lampshade Making
Thursday 16 October 10.30am – 3pm

On Thursday 16th October Polly from Folly & Glee is opening her studio at The Long Barn, Upper Lodge near Ringmer, Lewes BN8 4AP for a unique introductory workshop to the art of lampshade making.

 Taking full advantage of the working studio setting we’ll explore a variety of different lamp shade making techniques from traditionally tailored and stitched  to rigid panelled lampshades with hand rolled edges. You’ll choose the style and size of shade to complete by the end of the day. All materials for one lampshade including the wire frames, tape, PVC linings, course notes, fabric and trim are included in the workshop fee. Full kits including everything you need to complete a second or third shade from home are available to purchase on the day.

The workshop is strictly limited to 6 participants in order to ensure everyone has the personal attention they need. You don’t need any prior experience although for the hand-sewn tailored lampshade vintage a basic level of sewing skills are required. Do bring along your sewing kit if you have a favourite thimble, scissors etc. You can select your fabric from Folly &Glee’s collection of stunning original vintage barkcloths. If you prefer bring your own fabric along – you’ll need less than a metre for most shades.

The cost is £60 including a delicious light lunch, homemade cake with refreshments, free parking and all materials for your first lampshade.

To book or for further details please email Polly at hello@follyandglee.co.uk or telephone 07768 457144

Friday, 12 September 2014

Bald Again for Dragon Boating!

For most of last year I had a bald head. Not through choice but as a result of chemotherapy.
 Today I am packing up 20 bald head wigs for some of my wonderful friends and family to wear tomorrow as they compete in the Funraisers Bewl Water Dragon Boat Festival

 I am beyond grateful to have the chance to go bald again and know it is only for a day.

 I can largely because of the tremendous research breakthroughs made into understanding cancer. Others are not so lucky. Research funding is needed urgently especially by the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund and Leukaemia&Lymphoma Research.

 Please give what you can here or here

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Artwave 2014 - Reason to Celebrate.

I am absolutely delighted to be busily preparing for the Lewes Artwave Festival 2014 which begins next weekend.

Artwave Festival 2014
It is the third time I've been able to call myself one of the "Artists and an Orchard" and open up my studio in the Long Barn at Upper Lodge- home of the very lovely Fletcher Buckwells. Corina and Dominic very generously give an enormous amount of time and energy to opening the Upper Lodge gardens and orchard for the festival and it makes for a super venue.

Upper Lodge in Summer
This year we have 9 artists exhibiting and demonstrating their craft.

In 2012 I was the newbie having only taken up residence earlier in the Summer. Moving into a studio space proved to be a fantastic decision from the start. Not only did my long suffering family get their home back but I was blessed with  room to work more efficiently,  a beautiful location and a truly wonderful warm, funny and inspiring community. Not used to considering my self an "artist", and fearing I had little to offer discerning Artwavers,  I opened the doors with more than a little trepidation. I needn't have worried. Our visitors, young and old, the "arty" and the "farty", were a good humoured bunch who seemed to relish an opportunity to watch someone using traditional techniques. They enjoyed a rummage through the barkcloth cupboard, often recognising curtains from their childhood, and the order book filled quickly.

Hair (and boobs) in 2012 at the after show round up
By the time Artwave 2013 came around I had exactly 1cm of hair on my head, a partially numb right arm, radiotherapy burns, a body I no longer recognised and overwhelming fatigue. I opened the studio a different person - there were no nerves and no desire to impress. It was a delight simply to be there. Friends and family generously baked their socks off and we were able to raise a significant sum for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. 

With Pauline Crook and Alice Mara 2013
Now in 2014 we are set to open again next weekend - from 12-5pm on the 24th/25th/30th and 31st to be precise. It feels like a real milestone for me and cause for celebration on lots of counts. From a creative perspective I've made - with the help of my fantastic assistant Amelia -  several advances with the tailoring and finishing of the lampshades including our own hand dyed trimmings.
Hand dyed organic cotton trim and fringe
 From a social perspective my landlady and neighbours are now firm friends of the very best kind and I love spending time with them. What is more  over at the Modern House, a beautiful modernist house and gallery just up the lane, one of my closest mates  Janine Shute is to have her first exhibition.
Janine and I have nurtured each others creative endeavours for many years and I am more than THRILLED for her exquisite chalk drawings to be on display. You must take a look - how this girl captures the patina of aged leather with just chalk is beyond me. Can I suggest you visit the Modern House then come on over to us for tea in the orchard because.....

Cream Teas at Upper Lodge
 lastly, but not least, Artwave 2014 is an opportunity to contribute to the invaluable work of two cancer research charities - Pancreatic Cancer Research and Leukaemia&Lymphoma Research. They will receive all the money raised from our wonderful charity teas in the Orchard on the opening day Sunday 24th August.

I am very much aware just how much I have benefited from the research breakthroughs that have been made in understanding Breast Cancer. Unfortunately there is still a long way to go with Pancreatic and Blood cancers but they will get there - with enough research funding! 

You can read more about why my friend Tess and I are fundraising for these two particular charities here. I do hope you'll be joining us at Upper Lodge but if you can't please do consider making a donation

Monday, 3 March 2014

Learn to Sew a Tailored Lampshade with the Patchwork Dog

I'm lucky to  be working again with the wonderful folk at the Patchwork Dog and Basket in the Needlemakers, Lewes. 

Now you can write what I know about quilting on the back of a very small envelope but I'm quickly learning that there is far more too it than sewing a straight quarter inch seam. And it seems I'm not alone. The April  edition of Elle Decoration proclaims "everyone's talking about Quilting" and from  April 1 the best selling author Tracy Chevalier is guest curator  to a quilt exhibition Things We Do in Bed.  In Chevalier's  most recent book, The Last Runaway, her heroine is a quilter. 

Liberty Lifestyle Kit from PatchworkDog &Basket
I'm  hopeful maybe one day I will have a patchwork quilt to share with you - for now I'm just happy to have stumbled upon quilting cottons as a fab resource for lampshade making. The patchwork dog pictured is made up from the Liberty Lifestyle Bloomsbury collection. There's a fab mix all inspired by the the beautiful interiors of Charleston, the farmouse home near Lewes  of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell and meeting place of the artists and writers of the Bloomsbury Group. 

Its a great weight of cotton and super smooth - perfect for crafting. And because its so popular with quilters you'll find it for sale in fat quarters, and even smaller pieces. You can econmically mix and match a great collection of designs with very little wasteage. I couldn't resist using the collection for a little 8" scallop bell lampshade as an example shade for the forthcoming workshop I'm leading.

The real delight for me with this project was the choice of beautiful bias bindings in a range of widths that Jill and Josie from the Patchwork Dog and Basket make and wind onto large wooden spools in the shop. Combined with some mini pom pom trim it makes a perfect inexpensive trim for finishing a tailored lampshade.

The Patchwork Dog also have a great range of cotton tapes in a fab range of colours. I chose a bright cerise to bind my lampshade frame. Its a great option for a smart finish inside without the need for a lining and I hope a time saving alternative to lining for first time shade makers joining me on the workshop.

On the day we'll have a great selection of the Liberty Bloomsbury fabrics and bias trims for participants to purchase. The hard bit will be choosing which combination to go for. I love this part.....so much so when I didn't have the real fabrics in front of me I played around with images in Photoshop. Here were my top 3 combinations:

Photoshop conveniently makes it easy to try out different cotton binding colours too.
I'll be playing with these again.

There are a limited number of places available on the Traditional Lampshade workshop on 19th March. We'll be working at a beautiful riverside home in Lewes and enjoying a homecooked lunch. The price is just £60 which includes your frame and all equipment. Bring along 1/2 metre of your own fabric or purchase a Liberty Lifestyle cotton,  one of my vintage barkcloths, and your choice of trim on the day. Just call Josie at the Patchwork Dog and Basket on 01273 483886 or email madeinlewes@hotmail.co.uk.


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