House of Amitié Lampshades
Working on a collection of statement lampshades has been something in discussion at House of Amitié for over a year.
We felt there was a bit of a gap in the market for lampshades that featured a marbled fabric rather than the more traditional route of using paper.
When Odette got in touch we instantly saw how well our fabrics and her lampshades could work together.
In celebration of our first collaboration and the release of the new lampshades we thought we would ask Odette some questions...
What led you to becoming a lampshade maker and how long have you been doing it?
I have been selling cards, prints and coasters featuring my photographs for many years. About five years ago, I thought it would be fun to put my panoramic images on to lampshades. I love working in Photoshop so it was easy for me to adapt my photographs to lampshade shapes. I tried a few fabric printing companies and bought myself a basic kit. I immediately loved the process and have been making lampshades ever since. This soon evolved to working with local artists to put their artwork on to lampshades.
Are you self taught?
I am totally self taught. There are some excellent video tutorials online as a starter but you soon adapt to better ways of working.
How did you come to work with Nick who makes the beautiful wooden bases?
I approached Nick when I saw his beautiful oak bases online. I was looking for handmade bases to compliment my lampshades - a great lampshade needs a great base! Nick was extremely helpful and sent me a complimentary base for marketing and photography. In return, I have sent many artists and customers his way who wanted to match the look. My best selling lampshade is an unusual shape, 20cm diameter tall shade with a height of 30cm, this needed a rather specific base. I gave my idea to Nick and he created the beautiful circular oak bases I sell today.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
As a photographer, I love the beautiful Yorkshire coast and countryside. I live in Whitby which is a great base for art and creativity.
Do you have a signature style or what do you think makes your shades unique compared to the many others on the market?
I work mostly with artists to turn their original art into lampshades - this is unusual as it requires software skills as well as the essential making skills. I am always aware that the artwork is the star so the lampshades are always sized to best show off the original work. This often leads to unusual sizes and bespoke creations as keeping the feel of the original work is critical. You can't buy these from the high street so they are totally unique.
Tell us about some of the special tools and techniques used when making your lampshades.
Without giving away trade secrets, it is essential to have a great pair of fabric scissors! A craft knife and seam roller are always close to hand.
Can you tell us a little about the making process of making the House of Amitié lampshades?
This process starts with the arrival of beautiful fabric. This is then accurately measured and cut to make the best possible use of the fabric. Each cut piece is sized precisely for the lampshade to be made. The fabric is adhered to Lampshade Association accredited components, starting with the PVC backing. Lampshade rings are hand-rolled around the edges and the seam is then secured and rolled. The edges are then neatly tucked under the lampshade rings for a professional finish. When finished, the lampshade is wrapped using biodegradable film and tagged ready to be posted to its destination.
Decorative and handmade lampshades definitely seem to have seen a surge in popularity over the last few years, why do you think this has been?
Yes, there has been a great growth in the handmade decorative lampshade market. Lockdown played a part as people looked to upgrade and decorate their homes. The sales of my art lampshades have grown simply because they offer an affordable way to have art in the home. Many people can't afford an original artwork by their favourite artist, but they can buy a lampshade. They are great talking points and literally brighten any room!
Is there a special commission or collaboration you are particularly proud to have been a part of?
I am proud of them all! I have been very lucky to work with presitigious artists, designers and retailers. I have some very exciting collaborations due to be launched later this year too!
Lastly, any tips about using table lighting at home or getting the best out of your lamps?
Always use LED bulbs for low energy consumption and for prolonging the fabric colours. Experiment with the wattage to create different effects. To show colours to their best effect, go for a daylight/cool white bulb. For a more subtle and warm effect you will need a warm white bulb. For an even softer glow, choose a lampshade with a metallic lining.
Odette in her workshop