Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Look look! Illuminate has a front cover! We are on the way. The stunning lampshade illuminating the front cover is by Allison Patrick from Zipper 8 Lighting based in New York. It is the most perfect image to have on the front. I love it.

So today I send the final, final (fingers crossed) layouts back to the publishers and then the 43 artists profiles and the 171 beautiful images and the many thousands of words of inspiration and story will go off to be printed.

And do you know what else? It's on Amazon! It was pretty amazing to see that for the first time yesterday. I hope you will share my excitement!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Quaking Grass

I'm really excited about this new design, based on Quaking Grass which is a lovely plant that I discovered in my new Year in the Life of an English Meadow book (lovely lovely book). Engraving the stem is pretty much the only way to describe the delicacy of the plant. A cut shape would be so fine that it would break too easily.
It's so lovely when the light shines through. I'm looking forward to turning it into something. Shame I won't have much time in the studio this week because of moving house...oh and because of having to do the last tweaks to the book layout by Friday.... that's got me quaking like quaking grass!

Thursday, 16 February 2012


We are moving house....and I feel like I have been waiting for this for such a long time. When I moved into this flat 9 years ago the kids were little, 7 and 9 and I was a single Mum. It was just right - cosy and convenient and everything we needed at the time and it felt great to own a place of my own. It has nurtured us well, seen the birth of two businesses and watched the children emerge into young adults. Now, we are bursting at the seams. Robert moved in with us a few years ago and suddenly there were four adult sized people living in a very small space. We've proved one thing - we get on well. Despite the squeeze, and the chaos of renovation while we tried to maximise space we have survived and just about stayed sane!

Above my shop is a beautiful three bed roomed  house. It's Victorian with high ceilings and beautiful arched windows. It has stairs and hallways (imagine that). It has a huge attic for us and the kids will have a proper bedroom each...Euans will even have a WINDOW. The house is filled with light and I can't wait to make it home. Honestly I'm getting a bit emotional thinking about it, as if an immense weight will be lifted from my chest. I feel like we're on the brink of a huge and positive change. Maybe we will all start growing to fill the space.... maybe just metaphorically! So, the chaos of packing has begun and we have started sorting through the last nine years of our lives...that's exactly half of Ffions! Looking forward to the next chapter.

Monday, 13 February 2012

New shapes

Some great new shapes just arrived from the laser cutters. I have found so much inspiration in grasses lately and  these shapes have developed since doodling them in my sketchbook.

The wren found a home in the meadow.

The I played with cutting out the areas I want to the light to shine through. I've been looking at a lot of pictures of meadows lately and I love the way the tiny hairs on the plant silhouettes are illuminated in when the sun is behind them..

I was originally going to make a wall panel but last night I had a vision for a new shape. A wide oval lamp

perfect for sitting on a shelf at eye level. That's just what it's doing in my living room right now.

Can you imagine my lamps in Japan?

There are so many exciting things happening and so much dreaming about making other new exciting things happen that I'm fit to burst. It's all so good. One of those things is Japan. I have always thought that it would be nice to get my lamps into Japan and recently a couple of opportunities have arisen that could make that dream a possibility. Firstly, 'Do What You Love' Beth, whose favourite city in the world is Kyoto and who speaks fluent Japanese (amongst many of her other talents) is going to live there for a big chunk of this year and she has invited me over and offered to act as a guide. Her email put the hugest grin on my face as she tempted me with gorgeous Japanese accommodation, a trip to a paper making village, a visit to the Geisha district for lighting inspiration and looking at getting my work into Japan. WHAT a generous offer. Kyoto looks SO beautiful and when I discovered the bamboo forests  that was it! Stunning. I cannot wait to stroll around them with my camera. Oh my. Still finalising plans but I hope to go at the end of May.

Back at GNCCF in October I also chatted with a Japanese man whose company acts as an agency to help craftspeople export to Japan. Last week my lamps were in a trade show in Tokyo and they just sent me some photos. It's a little bit of a shame that they didn't switch them on as that always helps...but never the less they had quite a bit of interest and we will see what happens from here. I love seeing my profile in Japanese there! Beth? What does it say???

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The candle covers are coming BACK!

A couple of years back I made some really sweet little candle shades that sat over a tea light in a clear glass votive. They were really popular BUT I had trouble with them. They were pretty small, just 7cm high and there was a lot of pressure in the cylinder and when they got hot sometimes the laminate would crack. It was so annoying and I lost confidence in them as a product and stopped making them. I was hung up on them being small and didn't think they were as sweet when they were bigger. Well something just happened. The Hello Soul, Hello Business course has been about ideas and innovation this week and my brain has been wildly fired up with possibilities...not about candle covers funnily enough, about lots of other stuff, but it must have just got the synapses firing in the right way because the middle of the week, without any kind of fuss I just made a bigger one and it is perfect. Still sweet but lots more space for hot air to circulate.

So all those lovely people who have asked me for personalised candle covers for the centres of their wedding tables. You're on. Now I can say YES!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Me and my dear old Dad

My Dad just emailed me this photo of us. This is what we looked like 32 years ago (I'm sure I didn't always look like a complete loon). Little did he know then that all these years later that he would be helping out his daughter with her business making lamps and posting them all over the world.  It's funny, all my life I have watched my Dad post parcels all over the world. He collected and sold records, rock and roll and jazz mainly, and he is the KING of parcel wrapping. Neat, crisp, brown paper packages with the neatest handwriting, FRAGILE written in big red capitals and all complete with a blue air mail sticker. If you ever buy a lamp and get a parcel fitting this description (and with possibly too much parcel DARE I criticise the King himself) then the chances are it was wrapped on a Thursday by my dear old Dad!

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