Thursday, early evening. The days are getting shorter already, and as the light fades from the sky, I find myself standing outside the window of a little store in the Occidental square of Seattle's pioneer sq. neighborhood. The table in the window is topped with tiers of glowing paper lampshades. Shades with silhouettes of hands stretched in longing, an octopus curling languidly. Shades printed with thick vintage woodblock letters spelling "whisper, lovely, pretty girl". Cut petals curl off the paper of a shade that softly sighs "nectar".
The lamps undulate underneath in alabaster, jade milk glass, and pink porcelain. Imported Italian tiles and anemone-esq. dahlias are free form-flung amongst the bases, seeming to ground the lamps that with such weightless shades would surely float away...
Tall in the corner, upon a cracked and peeling antique turned wooden base perches another lampshade wonder. Wide as the brim of a southern debutantes summer hat, threads of many different textures twine and twist creating intricate shapes and patterns. Webs woven more craftily than old mother spider, opalescent pearls nestling here...there...like beads of dew. Peeking underneath, a revelation! Amber drops of glass, chandeliers lost crystals, trickle down from the lining. Oh the lining! Centuries of hand embroidered, soft caressed handkerchiefs overlap, becoming patterns of their own. Tears and chuckles demurely caught into the gentle folds of fabric that now hold only light.
Please, they must be seen to be believed. Come and view letterpress shades created in collaboration with Lynda Sherman of Bremelo Press, the sculptural marvel made in thread, beads, and handkerchiefs by Tom Hitt, and many more exquisite shades done by Dawn Bassett at LiT.