My new workshop

I thought it was about time I shared some pics on here of my new lampshade workshop. It was built in our garden over a couple of months earlier this year. You know when you think, ah it’ll only take 2 weeks and then it turns into 2 or 3 months?! Well, that was partly our fault as we added some landscaping to the garden too, with a new garden path, a new flowerbed and two new raised beds for growing veggies.

Before I show you, I thought I’d mention why this is a good thing for my clients too, not just a nice space for me to work in. From now on when you come to collect a lampshade order, or come to enquire about lampshades, you can come round the back of our house to my workshop. There you’ll find lots of lampshade ring sizes to choose from, lampshade PVC lining samples as well as my plain fabric selection (a cotton from Villa Nova Seville). You can even bring your lamp with you if you like so that we can see what shapes and sizes will look best. I don’t have lots of samples of lampshades I’m afraid (being bespoke, everything I make goes out the workshop pretty much straight away). But I can also draw out your lamp base to size to help you visualise things.

This is my daily commute from the back door, across the patio and up the garden path:

I have been working out here now for a few months and I absolutely love it. The first week felt a bit strange being away from the house but now I’m so glad we did it. My lampshade ‘stuff’ (ring sets, PVC, cutting mats, equipment, art bits and bobs, lots of fabric remnants) had started to take over the house. And as I was using the dining room table I had to tidy everything away at the end of each day. Not great but on the other hand I also loved the space in the house and it worked well enough for nearly ten years…

My new workshop isn’t far from the house and it looks out onto our new veg patches, with peas, broad beans, rhubarb, raspberries, lettuce, beetroot and tomatoes. There is a new crunchy pebble path that leads from the patio to the workshop which feels a bit like walking on a beach but is also great as I can hear people coming up it towards me! I tend to get very absorbed in what I’m doing and am easily spooked otherwise!

We planned out what would go inside early on and I’m really happy with our finds, including:

A great workbench from Arbor Garden Solutions – it’s on wheels and is at the perfect height for standing and cutting PVC. No more back ache! There is also lots of storage underneath for PVC and ring sets.

A gorgeous quirky desk chair from Anthropologie (very me!) and a cute little bamboo desk from Ikea which is perfect for my laptop but also for my sewing machine.

A green metal trolley from Ikea – so handy for all my lampshade tools – no more hunting around in my tool box, everything is really accessible now.

The cupboard and shelving unit came from our house and were soon filled with fabric off cuts, my growing collection of botanical books and my embroidered lampshades.

Of course, Arthur has a bed out here too and usually comes and joins me while I’m working. Otherwise he’ll be wandering around in the garden next to me.

The walls and ceiling are painted in Little Greene Boxington and the woodwork is Olive Green. I decided to be bold, this space will be great for experimenting in interiors as well as art and lampshades! My next project in between lampshade orders and machine embroidery is to paint a mural on one of the walls of lots of flowers and leaves from my sketchbook. It’ll take a while but there’s no rush, I want to just add to it a bit at a time rather than planning it out. I’ll post more photos on here and Instagram once I have done some more (just a few flowers at the moment, it feels very strange drawing on a newly painted wall!)

I’m looking forward to welcoming lots more lampshade clients to my workshop. I’ve already had a handful collect their lampshades from here and it feels so much nicer and more professional than coming to the front door of our house. I just need to sort out a sign for deliveries as my husband is getting fed up having to take them all the time! I’ll add it to my list of things to do…

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