Lots of Lampshades!

I wondered if there was a collective noun for lampshades, and surprisingly there isn’t! So here is an illumination (?), or a collection of lampshades that I have made over the last week.

These lampshades have been dropped off at the Alchemist Gallery on Dingwall High Street this afternoon and will be available for sale from tomorrow. They are a mix of pendant and lamp shades, they aren’t adjustable.

I only started selling at the Gallery a week last Tuesday and 3 lampshades have been sold, a wreath and 4 fairies! I’m so pleased, especially as it is a Gallery that is filled with some truly beautiful items from other local crafters and artists.

I must say that making this many lampshades in one week has really taken a toll on my shoulders, but should help sort out my bingo wings on my arms, with all the rolling. I actually have two more lampshade landscapes prepped, but just ran out of elbow grease. So they will be felted next week.

I really love the merino and sari silk one, so I’ve been thinking of making one for the house, if I can find a lightbulb that isn’t already covered with its own felted lampshade.

For those new to my blog, I have previously done a series of posts about how I make my lampshades.

It would be much easier to create all the lampshades using merino wool dyed by a commercial company, like World of Wool. However, I am trying as far as possible to use local suppliers for my wool. The land and seascape ones above include some Shetland/Blue Faced Leicester cross wool from Roxy, a sheep that lives on the hills near Loch Ness. I scoured, washed, combed and dyed some of her wool last year and left some undyed for doing the needle-felted sheep. They also have some fibre from a lady in Aberdeenshire, who does her own washing, dyeing and drum carding of wool from local sheep. The white horses in the waves are a flax & silk waste bag, I also use dyed throwsters silk (a waste product from the manufacture of silk thread) and sari silk (a waste product from the weaving of silk saris). I also have some commercially bought products as well, like the aqua coloured flax, the angelina and the merino & sari silk fibre for the first lampshade above.

A lot of ladies from the Highland Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers own their own sheep and there seems to be a good range of different breeds amongst the group. It is a lot of work to manually scour the fleeces, to wash out the lanolin and then comb them. So for the hours of effort involved, if I was charging for my time even on minimum wage, then commercially bought fibre is probably cheaper. But I like that these are mostly made from locally sourced wool and may well be asking my friends from the Guild for a fleece in a future year.

I’m hoping to save up for my own drum carder, or perhaps will ask my husband to get me one for Christmas. I have borrowed our felting group’s drum carder in the past, but I would like to own my own. If anyone reading has a make they recommend then do please let me know.

Anyway, back to ideas for the collective noun for lampshades, I like my idea of ‘an illumination of lampshades’, what do you think it should be?


  1. These are pretty. Congratulations on your sales! Classic Carders and Wingham Wool Works are the only two companies that make drum carders in the UK. Ashford make one but it is super expensive and comes from NZ. I researched them and it looks like Wingham is the best value for what you get for your money and the warranty, but anyone who owns either of those recommends them. Classic also have videos on Youtube. If you pay by Paypal, you might be able to get paypal credit so you can pay it off in 4 installments and is what I would do. I can’t justify the need right now and made a blending board instead. I understand you wanting to use local breeds. If they felt well, why not as it doesn’t matter so much if making a lamp shade or for needle felting, or wall hanging. I would save the merino for wearables.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks that’s good to know and really useful. I do have a blending board that I use for rolags for spinning and have made the occasional batt for spinning…perhaps I should use more for felting and don’t need a drum career. The lady at fleece4ewe owns a number of rare breeds and it’s interesting how some are high sheen, some look very matt, its ideal for the lampshades as it gives such texture to the seas and skies that doesn’t really come out so well on the photos. I just use merino for the beaches for a super smooth look in comparison.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your lampshades are absolutely beautiful, and it’s no surprise they are selling well — long may it continue! I also applaud your support of your local Guild ladies. If you aren’t already a member, it might be useful to investigate the Highland Guild, not only for the social aspect (although right now no society is “running” in a normal fashion), but because, in my experience, they are fonts of knowledge and might even have equipment you can borrow. I certainly value my membership of West of Scotland Guild.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Yes I’m the treasurer if the Highland Guild and it’s a great group. Our members are spread all over the Highlands from west, north and east coast towns and villages and even some on the Isle of Skye. Unfortunately our equipment is stored in the community centre which is now being used by the nearby primary school to enable social distanced lessons and we aren’t able to access our stuff.


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