Kimono Lamps named one of the top 10 lighting exhibitors of 100% Design by Achica Living!

It’s been a month since the exhibition and we are happy to say Kimono Lamps are now available from a design boutique in the centre of Paris. Paris, Paris Paris! And more shops still are ordering.

Kimono Lamps were also named one of the top 10 lighting exhibitors of 100% Design by Achica Living:
http://www.achica.com/achicaliving/2013/09/london-design-festival-2013-lighting-the-way-at-100-design/

Trade fairs and exhibitions offer a great opportunity to test a product. We were positively surprised by the reaction to Kimono Lamps lampshades. Especially the warm reception from the Japanese visitors has been as marvellous as unexpected.

We talked to visitors from all over the world – from Norway and from Kuwait; from Germany and Hong Kong and we felt we provided a competitive product to other lighting solutions present and that we fitted in with our original offering. That bit of confidence gained in a hub of European design was priceless for a small creative business that we are.

Big thanks to all the kind bloggers who wrote about us!

Interest from bloggers during the show resulted in a number of blog post written from a dedicated lounge within the pavilion labelled ‘Bloggers Only’ where they could enjoy some peace and quiet to do their work.
Some examples that we are aware of in the English language include:
http://delightfull.eu/blog/2013/08/top-lighting-exhibitors-at-100-design/
http://nylonliving.com/2013/09/19/100-design-around-the-world/
http://roomforapony.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/100-design-room-for-a-pony-highlights/
http://www.oliverheath.com/blog/2013/09/lighting-up-london-design-festival-low-energy-eco-lighting-shines-out/
http://www.jjlocations.com/whats_news.php
http://creative-boom.com/blog/the-highlights-of-emerging-design-at-100-design-2013/
http://www.bdalondon.com/100-design-tradeshow/
http://www.decomag.co.uk/content/upcycling-japanese-kimono-silk

Short YouTube video showing at Kimono Lamps stand:

Apart from being included in the official 100% Design guide book, website and social media, in the run up to the event, Kimono Lamps were also featured in Scottish and Russian press.

We are looking forward to the printed interior magazines editions as these take longer to turn out – recently we were contacted by an Australian magazine editor for product images as a result of their colleague seeing our London stand.

While in London, every evening we had dinner in a different restaurant, so plentiful around Earl’s Court. While sampling Japanese, Indian, Thai and Italian cuisine we discussed the events of the day, before heading back – exhausted – to our hotel situated just minutes from the Earl’s Court 2 pavilion, its very tall windows overlooking a strange mixture of green and industrial space inhabited by a bunch of hyperactive English chipmunks.

Would I do it again next year? I’d love to. But yet I know I won’t. Partly because it was so perfect due to – no doubt – beginner’s luck, which may not be there next year. But another, more important reason will unravel shortly in the coming posts.

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Meet the maker

making kimono lamps

As one can imagine, there’s usually more happening in the background while I work. And I don’t mean just tea and lyric fm radio.

But just to give you an impression as to what it feels like, the mess is gone from the picture. Because I see nothing else once I start working. I’m smiling like a baby to the concept of a finished lampshade in my head.

Stitching kimono fabric to the frame and seeing the new lampshade emerging is the part I enjoy most about the process.

Each new creation is my favourite… until the next one leaves my hands!

My friend Agnes, the owner of Vintage Trig took these.

Thanks a lot!

Kimono Lamp

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This lamp belongs to a customer who used to live in Japan. She then moved back to Ireland bringing this beautiful traditional lamp base with her.

The base has waited years for the matching lampshade I custom made recently choosing the kimono fabric and the size of the shade in proportion to the base. What do you think of this?

Magnolia

Last week I met him in B&Q garden centre. His name is George Henry Kern and it was love at first sight. I introduced him to my husband Adam and it was agreed he’s going to move in with us right away. Our lovely neighbour Barbara kindly agreed to look after him using her green fingers. He mightn’t have survived long otherwise.

Apparently Magnolias were on the planet millions of years before us. There are many varieties but George Henry Kern is going to grow as high as 3 metres. It will look more and more splendid every year in our little cul-de-sac against the listed stone wall. This way I can look at him every time I look out of the window while working on another kimono lampshade upstairs

And you know what? – It’s native to sunny slopes in damp areas of central Honshu, Japan!

I love magnolias and the movie, too. The director, Paul Thomas Anderson is said to admit this: “I really feel… That Magnolia is, for better or worse, the best movie I’ll ever make.” – I think that’s quite a statement from someone who had only been 29 at the time and a whole career ahead. He then went on and filmed ‘There Will Be Blood’ amongst other things.

Still a student, I remember leaving the cinema in Krakow one evening having seen Magnolia first time. It was early spring 12 years ago. I started crying uncontrollably in the street for no good reason other than something in the story just touched me unexpectedly and caused this catharsis.

I suspect Aimee Mann’s songs for the film must have had something to do with it too:

Each one is a book

One of the larger lampshades I’ve made flew to America recently escorted by the lady who bought it as a present for her sister. Made out of a very elegant cream fabric with champagne and pewter coloured flowers. I’m sure it’s found a lovely home.

When talking about kimonos I often get carried away out of excitement. They really seem to me more celestial than earthy. But talking to a friend recently I have realised I’m not the only one. Heading up for coffee we were talking about the kimono wearers – and the occasions. Here I am holding in my hands something commissioned for a wedding 30 years ago. How did the couple meet? Was the marriage happy? How many earthquakes has this piece survived? Aga said each fabric is a story, a book material. And I was jealous I didn’t think this thought first!

Arrived!

These silks have just arrived from Japan and they are gorgeous! I feel like wriggling in them. Which I won’t, rest assured dear future customers. But they are divine in texture and pattern and I’m so happy to be working with these objects of beauty…. designing new objects of beauty. Each new arrival is a little holiday.