August 31, 2005

Sconces and Largest Shades Are Very Popular!

It has been a while since I last posted, just before the Sunapee show. That was a hugely successful event, despite the oppressive heat. I made lots of great connections with clients new and old. There was particular interest in wall sconces, due in large part to the installation of all the sconces at New London Inn.

And the very largest shades for floor lamps and hanging lamps have been remarkably popular. These are the most expensive shades I sell, sometimes going for as much as $1600 for just the shade. But they are also the most dramatic exhibition of the effect of translucency and wood. The large scale makes a wonderful visual statement and fills a room with a warm glow and romance in a way that is hard to resist.

I pride myself on keeping a very large inventory of lampshades on hand at all times, so that when someone calls or visits my showroom, I am fairly likely to have what they want, ready to go. Right now, this is the first time in many years when I have been completely sold out of one particular category of shades: the largest floor lamp shades. I have some medium-sized floor shades (at a lower price, too), but I am actually sold out right now with the big ones. I have several special orders to fulfill before I can replenish my own inventory. But large shades are almost exclusively the objective of my work schedule these days. Last week and this, I have made the shades that will fill the special orders, and now can begin working on the others.

The creation of all of my shades is a always a physical challenge. I talked about that a few months ago in the aftermath of my knee injury. Thankfully, the knee does not slow me down now, but the overall intensity of the activity really shows up when I make the largest shades, one after the other, no days off. Today I had to take a break from the efforts -- my body is shot, my muscles are kind of humming in some deep and subtle way, and I had trouble just getting out of bed! Tomorrow I will get back to it, today I am catching up on desk work and shipping and that sort of thing.

The good news with these largest shades (18-20" in diameter) is that they are absolutely stunning. They are all coming from two logs that have been hidden in the back of a pile since April. The warm muggy summer has been uncomfortable for us humans, but the logs have benefited by aging beautifully and quickly over the last few months. The grain patterns that were naturally in these logs has been amplified by the effects of the aging. As beaten up as I feel physically, I am even more excited to be bringing these lampshades to life. I feel so fortunate to have this job, and to be capable of accomplishing the tasks. And that my clients relate to my work as strongly as I do.