I made a Henley shade – Henley Standard
A WOMAN had a brilliant idea ahead of this year’s Henley Country Craft Show.
Rosalind Freeborn created a lampshade from a collage of a Henley scene depicting the river, bridge, St Mary’s Church and Temple Island.
Rosalind, who lives in Muswell Hill, London, said: “I did the Henley design earlier this summer because I wanted to bring something with me that represents where I’m going.
“I was born and raised in Oxford so I know Henley and have visited the Royal Regatta so I knew what I wanted to include in the work.
“I wanted to have all the landmarks, so I uploaded a lot of photos and then sketched the image before I took the plunge and got this crazy where I just rip and paste, rip and paste.
“The shade below deck is marbled paper and I have Japanese paper for the umbrellas.
“I found something, which could have been a castle, for some of the buildings. The work that I do, I do it instinctively. It took me two days. I spend a day doing a lot of work but then I sleep on it before going back to finish it.
“I like that my creations give off an energy so as not to overwork them. If I feel like I spent too much time on something, I put it aside and start over.
Rosalind, married with four children, began her career in book publishing, music charities and arts advertising.
She then decided to enroll as a mature student at the City & Guilds of London Art School, specializing in oil portrait painting.
She found that the paper made its way into her work and that it was a more pleasant medium to use.
Rosalind said, “I went to art school to learn oil painting, but I’ve always had a passion for paper. I started adding paper to my paintings and eventually gave up oils and started doing all my work from paper.
“Tissue paper, wrapping paper, wallpaper, any kind of paper – you should see my studio, it’s full of boxes of all kinds of paper.”
She then had a ‘eureka moment’ when she looked at the lampshades in her house and thought they were too dull and found a way to do a better job using paper as a ‘different canvas. for his art.
Rosalind said: “When I found out no one else was doing it, it was a bit of a leap in the dark because I’m an artist, not a designer.
“I started by using a floral design I had created and then printed it five times to get the look I wanted that looked great.
“Getting the right type of paper took a long time, as you needed something that was able to support the design and let light through.
“I went up to Hull where I worked with the papermakers GF Smith and I was like Goldilocks who said I wanted paper that was neither too thick nor too thin.
“I went through tons of them before I found the right one, but they were very patient with me.” Rosalind launched Papershades in 2017 with pieces that tended to focus on floral themes, but when the coronavirus pandemic took hold she began creating works in different regions, cities and locations across the UK.
She also moved to workshops after testing a session on friends at home in her kitchen.
She said: “While I was having fun making it, I wanted to see if it would work for other people, so I invited my friends over and they all made their own lampshades, which I printed for them and they loved it, so I knew I was onto something.
The Henley Country Craft Show takes place at Stonor Park from Friday to Monday August 26th to 29th from 10am to 5pm daily. It’s the UK’s largest craft show with over 200 independent dealers. There will be kiddie rides, live music, a falconry demonstration, and street food and drink.
For more information visit www.thecraftshows.co.uk/henley-