We love that this month's winner from @natashasmarttextiles reflects this time of the year - cosy and warm, with a soft flickering back ground glow! Natasha has talents aplenty and not only makes these beautiful lampshades using wet felting techniques, but also makes bags, pouches, bowls, and art works alongside teaching wet felting courses at her studio in North Devon.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the creative things that you do?
I'm a textile artist, primarily a wet felter, and as well as being a maker I also run wet felting workshops at my studio in Exmouth, Devon. Since the first lockdown (when I finally had a bit more time!) I've also branched out into online YouTube tutorials and I'm currently working on creating an online course. I've made all sorts of things over the 15 years I've been felting, from jewellery and clothing to bags and accessories, but my main focus for the last couple of years has been bags and lampshades.
Are you a newbie lampshade maker or have you made up a Needcraft Lampshade making kit before?
I made my first wet felted lampshade in 2016 and started running Felt Landscape Lampshade workshops in 2017, so I've made (and helped to make!) quite a few since that time. I currently sell them in Infusion, a local cafe gallery here in Exmouth, but always keep a few in my studio as samples for workshops.
What do you love about the shade you entered for the #memadeshade competition?
Like all my felted lampshades, this lampshade looks so incredibly different when it's actually in use and the lamp is on. The colours change and become much more vibrant, and the individual wool fibres suddenly become visible. It's an amazing transformation, which is why I love teaching others to make them, they just can't believe how different their shade looks when we do our big reveal at the end with the lampshade in use! (I'm holding the lampshade I entered into the competition in this photo, so I hope you can see the huge difference!)
What do you like most about the Needcraft lampshade making kits?
So easy and convenient to use, with such clear instructions (and I love the fact that you have video tutorials on your site to help customers make up the kits, what a great touch). And the range is growing all the time so there are lots of new shapes and versions to try. I've recommended them to my learners on courses as well as to crafting friends and anyone else who asks!
Any plans to make more lampshades?
Definitely! I've tried a couple of different sizes in the past so I'm going to use my prize money (thank you so much!) to treat myself to some different versions, I quite fancy making a tiered shade out of felt for starters! I love the effect of wet felted lampshades and it's a really popular workshop too, so yes I'll be making more. My husband and I moved to Devon just over 5 years ago and I'm ashamed to admit that we still have some bare lightbulbs in the house, so I think I might make some for our home too!
October's most liked shades
We love seeing the mix of styles that enter our #memadeshade competition and October was an explosion of creativity. Ranging from contemporary farmhouse chic candle lampshades (@charlotte_briscoe_interiors) to the outright extravagant (@scarlet_sometimes), there is everything in between!
Flora and fauna are still playing its part in your entries and darker tones are reflecting the time of year with blacks (@_amanda_west, @delve_indesign) and midnight blues (@bridget9696, @piaellis) acting as the backdrop for fabric prints.
The considered approach to design struck us in the form of two very different lampshades, the big and brassy Barrowlands lampshade (@interiorsbyowlandcat) and the exquisite hand block printed lampshade (@alromero_) which literally couldn't be more different, but show the potential of imagination and skill. Well done to all the entrants that ended up in our October #mostliked.
Enter our #memadeshade competition
Next month is a bumper #memadexmasshade competition, that will run right up to Christmas and with it comes bigger prize of £200 worth of Dannells vouchers (imagine all the shades you could make with that!)
It's just the same rules though and still as easy to enter our #memadexmasshade Instagram competition. Just make a lampshade from any of our lampshade making kits and follow the steps below. And if you want to check out the hashtag #memadexmasshade for inspiration in advance, we've had over 1500 shades enter since we started!
Here's a reminder of what to do...
Simply take a picture of your proudest lampshade from one of our kits and enter on Instagram following the steps below:
Follow @needcraft if you haven’t already
Post an image of a lampshade you’ve made from an @needcraft lampshade making kit and tag with #memadeshade and the type of kit you used i.e 30cm Drum shade kits, Square kit etc.
For full terms and conditions click here.