Emma Purdie Lampshade

Profiles: Emma Purdie

Emma PurdieHomegirl London pays homage to Emma Purdie.  The maker of beautiful bespoke lampshades and cushions – Emma’s business is all about finding the perfect pattern and colour match to enhance the customer’s interior.  She hand prints her designs onto the finest Silk Dupion to create tailor-made luxury pieces.

Her passion for patterns and textiles stems back to childhood and when she couldn’t find a suitable lampshade for her own home she decided to make them herself.  Her modern, playful and colourful creations are gorgeous and every product is made entirely from scratch by hand – from the printing of the pattern to the construction – how fabulous!  I caught up with Emma to find out more …

Q: Tell me about your design background.

A: Textiles was the only thing I liked was good at when I was at school.  When I found out that I could actually study it at university I was delighted!  I then went on to study printed textiles at the Surrey Institute of art and design – I loved it!  After graduation, I worked freelance for many years designing and printing samples for high street fashion/interiors.

Q: Why set up your business?

A: I decided to explore the world of interior products after buying my first Victorian terrace house which needed a huge amount of colour and love … I couldn’t find lighting on the high street that was a little different, a statement piece.  Lampshades spend a lot of their time un-lit so I wanted something that made an impact.

Emma Purdie Lampshade

Emma Purdie Lampshade

Q: Where are you based and why?

A: I am based in Plymouth with my family.  I love being by the sea and I work at the Plymouth College of Art where I share my love for screen print and surface pattern.

Q: How many people work at your company?

A: Just me with an enormous amount of help from my dad … who can do anything and my web developer genius husband.

Q: Describe your design style.

A: Colourful, playful and modern.

Q: Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?

A: I mainly get my inspiration from my wild garden.  I love the random collections of colours, flowers and grasses which are bold and bright.  I’m also obsessed with random forming repeat patterns – from road markings to floor tiles.

Emma Purdie Cushiions

Emma Purdie Cushions

Q: Tell me about your collections.

A: I have three main collections; Repeat, Florals and Kids.

Repeat (lampshades): A collection of Illustrations put into repeat patterns, screen printed by hand mainly in metallic foils on linen.

Repeat Lampshade

Emma Purdie Repeat Lampshade

Florals (lampshades / Cushions): A collection of hand-drawn grasses and flowers, screen printed and overlaid on to silk and linen.

Floral Lampshade

Emma Purdie Floral Lampshade

Floral Lampshade

Emma Purdie Floral Lampshade

Kids (lampshades / Cushions): A collection of hand-drawn quirky illustrations for children, these include boats, hot air balloons and helicopters screen printed on silks and linen.

Helicopter Lampshade

Emma Purdie Helicopter Lampshade

Elephant Lampshade

Emma Purdie Elephant Lampshade

Q: What’s your fascination with pattern?

A: My fascination with pattern has been with me ever since I can remember.  I used to collect stamps but not for the historical value or geographical aspects.  I’d stick them in different arrangements to create larger designs that played with colour and pattern.  I also loved my Spirograph, a gift from my dear old nan; I would sit for hours with coloured biros creating patterns over any bit of paper.  My love for pattern was born early on and will be with me forever.

Q: Tell me about your bespoke service.

A: I offer a bespoke service to create lighting and soft furnishing to customers own specifications.  This can be done by printing my patterns in a particular colour palette chosen by the customer or creating new patterns inspired by existing interior products or architecture.  Bespoke lampshades can be made to different sizes.

Silk Colour Chart

Emma Purdie Silk Colour Chart

Q: Which designer/artist do you admire and why?

A: Missoni – their confidence and ability to use a multitude of patterns such as stripes, geometrics and the abstract kaleidoscope of colours is inspiring.

Q: What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

A: A sense of pride that you’ve made a product which will take centre stage in someone’s home.

Q: What one piece of advice would you pass on to someone wanting to set up their own business?

A: Take advice, listen to others but stay true to what you think defines you as a designer

Q: What’s coming up for the rest of 2013?

A: A new range of ‘hard’ products – covers for iPhones, iPads and Kindles.

In terms of prices; hand-printed lampshades start from £58 and hand-printed cushions from £35.  You can buy from www.emmapurdie.co.uk.

Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Emma Purdie, special thanks to Emma Purdie.