Monday, July 19, 2010
For Jane and Michael Floyd, nature has become a living and a lifestyle.The couple owns Shades of Nature Studio and Gallery in Mouth of Wilson, VA, specializing in unique lamp shades fashioned – not just from images of nature — but pieces of it.Jane’s mother was an artist and involved her children in gardening and enjoyment of wildflowers and plants. So she grew up familiar with woodland flora like Jack in the Pulpit, Trillium and Birdfoot Violets.Part of her experience growing up surrounded by plants involved pressing them, the way that many current-day adults did in childhood—by placing flowers between sheets of waxed paper and ironing them or gluing them together.They became such favorites that she made them a part of her lifetime of art.But that’s getting ahead of things.The idea for her unique art form developed 37 years ago when her mother asked that they do something with an old lampshade. Jane and Michael had an old collection of pressed flowers belonging to her mother, so they incorporated the pressings into the gift and it exists to this day.Ultimately that led to a business contact who had seen the work and wanted to mass produce the works, which they did for many years.In the mid 1970s, the couple bought a home in Mouth of Wilson and got to know people in the community.Their son bought what is known as the old post office near the intersection of Hwy 16 and Hwy 58. The building has become a studio and galley of lamps, shades, wall art and sun catchers. The greatest part of the display is the pressed flower and paper cut collages that include images of birds and other pieces of nature.The beginning of the flower pressing operation is done the old-fashioned way – spreading petals and laying them on a board to be covered and weighted.The years have led to lots of experimentation with different colors, materials and techniques for using them to best and long-lasting effect. Michael handles minor lamp repair for customers and creates turned lamp bases. A recent endeavor has been use of reclaimed wood from area sheds. Several are creatively crafted American Chestnut that no longer exists, living in the wild. It can only be found in the many structures built from it a century or more ago.The couple markets to the region through craft shows like Christmas in July. They do most of their shopping in Ashe so they are connected to the Jeffersons. They also plan to be part of the Grayson Artisans 2010 Studio Tour July 24 and 25. At the end of the day, gardening is still on Jane’s mind. “I can’t wait to get home to my garden. I nurture it. It nurtures me. We nurture each other.”
You can see more at their website: http://www.flowershades.com/
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The handmade, hardback shade is made with pink and maroon roses all over cotton fabric. It is trimmed with the same fabric. The accent lamp uses an electric candle with a 7-watt light bulb with a 69” (almost 6’) cord with on/off switch.
It measures10-1/2” high and would fit perfectly under a kitchen cabinet or on a guest bathroom shelf.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
My husband drilled a hole through the lid and lower part to insert the lamp parts. The six-foot cord is ivory with an on/off switch on it. The lamp uses a 15- or 25-watt candelabra bulb.
The clip-on, handmade shade is hardbacked and covered with brown cotton. It is trimmed with white french braid gimp and brown beaded fringe.
This reminds me of the decorating style in the 90s where everything was earth tones. So if you know someone who loves earth tones and teapots, this would be a perfect gift. It measures 12-1/2” high so it would fit under a kitchen counter. It would also look great on a hall table.