After starting her career in the fashion industry, Anna Proctor of Jericho Design House, turned her talent for print design to interiors, bringing her beautiful watercolour paintings and drawings to life as lampshades, cushions and accessories, using her own beautiful ‘by the metre’ fabric collections.
Mixing natural inspiration and artistic influences with modern more patterns and prints, her fabric collection uses a palette of complimentary colours, which are showcased in her stunning double-sided lampshades. In today’s Meet the Maker, we chat to Anna about how she developed her business, what she loves about lampshade making and, as always, take a sneak peek behind the scenes.
How are you today and what’s on your workbench?
I’ve been working on a brand new collection of designs which will be available as fabric by the metre and lampshades - the first samples are actually arriving this morning so I’m nervously awaiting the postman!
How do you start the design process for your prints and where do you get your design inspiration?
I collect inspiration as and when I see something I love, saving it to a folder on my phone.
Then, when I’m ready to start a new collection I pull everything together and find there’s often one or two common design and colour themes running through the images I’ve collected.
I create a mood board along with a wishlist of prints I want to create. I always start on paper with watercolour, inks and occasionally collage and then move into Photoshop where I refine my designs, recolouring them and put them into repeat.
How would you describe your style?
Colourful, painterly and nature inspired. I’m inspired by William & May Morris, the Bloomsbury Set, Liberty’s and beautiful corners of Oxford, plus my parents garden.
How did Jericho House Design come about?
I studied Textile Design at Nottingham Trent and then worked in the fashion industry for over 20 years as a print designer.
Jericho Design House started after I’d had my third child, I was creating new work for my portfolio/to sell but I realised this might be an opportunity to use this new work to start my own business and move into interiors, which I’ve always loved.
Can you tell us about the products and services do you offer?
My designs are sold as fabric by the metre for soft furnishings, I also sell cushion squares ready to sew, lampshades and textile wall hangings, as well as a collection of fine art prints.You can browse everything at www.jerichodesignhouse.com
When and why did you start making lampshades?
Someone suggested I give it a go and told me about Dannells. I loved how simple but satisfying it was! Then I had the idea of doing a double-sided shade myself with spray mount and only later realised that Dannells offer this in kit form, which made it so much simpler.
We couldn’t help but notice that you still love double-sided lampshades. What's the attraction of this type of lampshade for you?
The more print the better in my opinion, plus my designs are made to coordinate, and it makes the shade more unique.
What’s your favourite part of the lampshade making process?
It’s got to be when you roll the panel onto the frame and it all comes together.
How do your lampshades fit with the other interior products that you offer?
All of my textile products come from the same print mill, and I’m careful to work from a master colour palette so that the tones are complimentary across my designs. It allows my customers to create a perfectly coordinated scheme from curtains to cushions to lampshades.
Any tips for new lampshade makers in business?
Add a 5mm overlap of fabric at the short ends of your shades it makes for a really clean finish! And If you’re making lampshades to sell, be sure to factor in all of the time it takes to make and package up the shades in your costing, not just your materials.
It’s clear that Jericho House Design is a multi-faceted business. How do you manage all of the different aspects of your work?
Over the past 5 years I’ve tried various different approaches in my business, and at times that has meant I’ve spread myself too thinly, or found that I’m not finding the time to do the parts I love (designing!)
So I try to stay focused on my reason for starting my business, which is to allow me to create beautiful fabrics, and have flexibility around my family, and that helps to keep me on track. I also just have to be realistic about how long things take and not beat myself up when I need to pause to focus on something else.
When are you at your most productive?
In the past it was always evenings, often getting started around 10.30pm, which with young children is pretty impractical if I end up working into the early hours. So I’ve had to adapt and try and work during school hours. I usually plug myself in to some music or a podcast and can crack on any time I have an hour or so spare - the hard part is stopping once I get started.
And your favourite sustenance when you’re working?
Tea - I even created a wall hanging in its honour!
Could you let us take a peek at your workspace?
I work at home which means I’m often surrounded by toys, bikes and bags but it gives me the flexibility of working evenings and when the kids are home from school. It’s a lovely space overlooking the garden.
Where would you like to be in 10 years time?
My kids will all be pretty much grown by then, so I hope I’ll be able to go off on more spontaneous adventures and travelling. I’d love to have a studio/retail space local to me where I could show my work, maybe run workshops and interact directly with customers. Their positive feedback keeps me going, and I’m so often working alone at home!
What have you learned that’s been invaluable to your creative process?
Don’t start with just a blank canvas with no direction or inspiration, set yourself a brief - what and who are you designing for? Gather images of what you want to emulate, and then break it down into steps / design ideas to create a plan to follow. You can do this and still leave room for it to go off on a tangent, but it’s a great starting point.
Browse Anna's website, Jericho Design House to buy lampshades, art prints, make-up pouches and all made from her stunning nature-inspired fabrics, which are also available by the metre. Give Anna a friendly follow on her socials linked below.
#meetthemaker #jerichodesignhouse #annaproctor #fabricdesigner #doublesidedlampshades #handmadelampshades #uniquelampshades #natureinspiredfabrics #creativebusiness #handmadelampshades #handpaintedfabricprints #handpaintedfabrics #fabricsbythemetre #cushions #pouches #bespokeinteriors #professionalshademaker #lampshademakers #lampshademaking #lampshadeinspiration #bespokedesign #oneofakindshade #handmadeshades