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.
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!