Not too long ago, I began a mad love affair with antique fabrics generally and block-printed textiles specifically.

I obsessed over the V&A’s collection of simple Indian calicos and fanciful palampores, many of which can also be found in historic house museums here in New England. At the time I had a little print shop, and I spent a lot of time trying to mimic the look of fabric on letterpress printed paper. The simple patterns I drew worked beautifully, but I had fallen out of love with printing.

I also happened to be looking for good lampshades, and couldn’t find anything that wasn’t either stiff and plain, or fussy and elaborate. Gathered lampshades of the sort found in London were nowhere to be found, and I needed some for my house.

I began sourcing silk saris from India, learned to use a pale minty green vintage sewing machine, and sourced a perfect rosy linen to line them, making silk bias trim to finish the top and bottom.

I continue to source textiles from India, but also love to work with unusual woven cottons, batiks and ikats. Every lampshade that comes out of my little studio is one-of-a-kind and almost entirely made by hand.

When I am not making lampshades I am with my boys, or volunteering in our very special town, or, whenever possible, busy in my garden.

The perrotine was a machine invented by Perrot of Rouen in the early 19th century to automate the process of block printing.

Gray Antiques

808 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

www.grayantiques.com

Patrick Mele

60 William Street
Greenwich, CT 06830

www.patrickmele.com

SB. Sarah Bartholomew

3912 Hillsboro Circle
Nashville, TN 37215

www.sarahbartholomew.com/sb

Gray Antiques

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