Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lampshade making in Lewes with Lauren

Last Saturday I spend a brilliant day with my good friend Lauren in Lewes in East Sussex. Every so often there seems to be an 'it' area where everyone wants to move to and at the moment everyone is talking about Lewes and I can see why. It's a tiny little town, surrounded by green hills, full of winding streets and little always with some lovely independent shops and pubs. It's also got it's own castle which sits proudly in the middle. Despite it's picturesque surroundings the town isn't at all twee and doesn't seem to market itself as a 'tourist' town. It's only a hour outside of London by train and 10 minutes more to the sea.

We were there to take a course run by the talented Annemarie O'sullivan who creates beautiful woven baskets and sculptures. Our workshop was focused on lampshade making and you can read a lovely account of it on Laurens blog here. Annemarie teaches from her home which is a lovely little cottage with a cosy kitchen / living room with a panoramic view of the downs. Lauren and I both wanted to learn traditional basket weaving skills whilst creating the lampshades so made ours out of willow. We both started with an idea in our minds of the shape and style we wanted to achieve and these developed as we began to work with the willow.

I love the retro vibes of our finished lampshades and the shadows they create. Working with the willow is really rewarding - it can be quite tough at times but you can also be very precise with it. Weaving in the round like this reminded me of making pottery on a pottery wheel...future project perhaps?

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