Monday, January 5, 2015

A Lampshade for Krishna

Posted by Kashmira

...And the garden projects continue. This is the story of a Krishna statuette carved from a scrap block of wood that some artisans were selling by the roadside in Mumbai in 1975. My parents were medical residents there at that time and decided to get the carved Krishna for their apartment. 

He started out as just a wooden carving that my parents placed in the garden once they moved to this house and regularly varnished to preserve it and protect it from the elements. In time, when they were doing up the garden and wanted to spruce up a plain-looking stone wall, they made a grotto-like arch structure and gave the statuette its own little corner. (The lamps painted on the bricked arch are called 'Lamandiva' and 'Samai' in Marathi and are painted there by mom's multi-talented receptionist.) Almost 40 years on, the wood seemed to have dulled a little, so mom took it upon herself to brighten it with color. And now here it stands among the greenery.

The only sore point? Mom is unhappy with the naked light bulb hanging alongside, so here's my attempt at making a 15 minute lampshade for it.

I roughly measured the light bulb and cut a scrap card paper and some brocade remnant from a sari (blue, because it is Krishna's color) slightly larger than the paper.

Then with glue (Fevicol, arguably India's favorite brand) stuck the fabric to the paper. Yes, the glue shows through as messy dots, but it does dry completely with time. 

Next I folder the fabric over to the wrong side and glued it in place.

On the outside I added some brocade ribbon detail.

Then I rolled the prepared card paper, overlapped it and stapled it together to create a cylindrical lampshade.

I simply tied a coordinating brocade ribbon in the center to keep it together. The 15 minute lampshade was ready!

Next I just threaded some ties on either side of the cylinder to hang up the lampshade.

But, I made a pretty significant mistake. I used a thickish card paper to provide structure so the resultant effect when the bulb is switched on is not what I aimed for. I should have either cut striped holes in the paper so the light shines through or just used the thick card paper as rings on the bottom and top. So who knows, maybe you'll see a follow-up post on this lampshade. In the meantime, anyone that can throw more light on making a better lampshade will be much appreciated!

1 comment:

  1. Looks beautiful, Kash. But I wonder how a cloth and paper lampshade will be able to withstand rain.