Monday, November 9, 2009

Victorian Lamp Shades

I've found a new passion...............Victorian Lamp Shades.

These beauties are very unique in that no two hand-made ones are exactly alike. Back in the day, you would employ a lampshade maker to fashion one specifically for your lamp and it would be a true work of art. There are very few lampshade makers left today as, sadly, it is another of the Victorian Arts that are rapidly passing away.


The Victorian Parlor really needed a couple of lamp shades that befitted its turn of the century demeanor. After seeing the price of having one made (WOW), I decided to try my hand at it. Well........

.....here is the result.



This particular shade has eight petals and eight of those diamond shaped inserts. I chose the same damask fabric that covers the footstool and side table for the petals, but they seemed too bright so I put a silk chiffon over four of the petals to soften them a bit. The diamonds are lined with black silk and covered in lace rosettes.

Side view.........


Can you see the rosettes? This is finished off with yards and yards of gimp and some glass beaded fringe. Here it is lit up. It really matches the wall color quite well, even when lighted.


This table lamp shade was my first attempt. It is made from the bodice of a vintage bridal gown and is a hand embroidered and beaded ivory satin. I dyed the gimp and fringe (which I LOVE) to match the outline thread on the embroidery. This is a six petal shade and is adorned with acrylic beads, too.


It is on the vintage lamp that sits on my desk. If you look back at the original Parlor photos, you will see this once had a lace shade on it. I like this better and the embroidery shows very well when lit up, too. The soft glow of the shade is due to the silk lining. Without the lining, you would see the outline of the bulb.


After completing these two shades, I decided that those who hand sew these (as they should be) earn every cent of the hundreds of dollars that they are forced to charge for them. They are very labor intensive!!

First, the entire shade frame must be wrapped in ribbon. Then, it took me over 16 hours of hand stitching to do the floor lamp shade and about 12 hours for the desk lamp shade. Each shade is made from several layers of fabrics all hand stitched individually. In the floor lamp, there are 25 fabric panels to sew on one at a time.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my new passion. Now I'm looking at every lamp in a different light (pun intended) to see if it needs a Victorian Shade.

Click to enlarge any photo but please do not copy without permission. I gladly give it for a good reason. Thanks!

9 comments:

Dolly said...

Ohhhhh Miss Bertie I am sooooo impressed!
You are amazing girl...is there anything you can't do? :-)
I have always wanted to do this but never had the courage.....honestly....how hard is it?
Do you think I could do it?
Where did you find instructions that were helpful?
I am willing to give it a try if you say its easier then it looks!
I have mums old lamp that needs a victorian shade and I have been so tempted to spend the big bucks to have one made but never have the spare money to do so!

Please share your tricks of the trade!

XXOO
Dolly

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Just found your site and so glad I did. I myself at one time wanted to do these lamp shades but never did. These are just beautiful
How talented you are.
Maggie

vickie said...

Absolutely Stunning!!!

Connie said...

Ya gotta be careful with those "passions", sugar. Trust me on this one!!! Gorgeous, beautiful, exquisite and stunning!!!!!!
xoxo,
Connie

The Victorian Parlor said...

Bertie,

Those lamp shades are gorgeous!!! You have a gift! I have admired shades like these before but didn't have the money to purchase any. Yours are truly beautiful!

I received the package today and want to thank you again for the lovely treasures that you sent! I left you a thank you on my blog (Kramer helped:).

Blessings,

Kim

Kathy said...

Your lampshades are Beautiful!!! I have been looking myself at kits and instructions online but have not made the leap to give it a try yet. I absolutely LOVE victorian lampshades (I live in an old victorian farmhouse) and they are a small fortune to buy already made. I don't care so much for the time that it takes to make one as long as it comes out looking gorgeous. Job well done!!!!

Kathy

Kathy said...

Your lampshades are Beautiful!!! I have been looking myself at kits and instructions online but have not made the leap to give it a try yet. I absolutely LOVE victorian lampshades (I live in an old victorian farmhouse) and they are a small fortune to buy already made. I don't care so much for the time that it takes to make one as long as it comes out looking gorgeous. Job well done!!!!

Kathy

Secondhandrose said...

You took to this new passion like a duck to water! They are amazing, wait, YOU are amazing. What gorgeous heirlooms.

karen

Sharon said...

Bertie your my kind of woman, love those lampshades...especially the black one.