Excerpt from 1951 Waterford Homes Tour and Crafts Exhibit (aka Waterford Fair) booklet, pages 16,17

historic image of ladies creating lampshades

“Senior Lampshaders”, image by Marion Post Wolcott

In 1946 the Waterford Foundation launched an experimental class in lamp shade making, under the direction of Mrs. Paul V. Rogers. Membership in this class was open to anyone from Loudoun or adjacent counties who wished to join, and a small group of aspiring artists displayed and sold their lamp shades at the October Exhibit with great success.

Encouraged by the results of this first attempt, the class met once a week in work-rooms provided by the Mutual Fire Insurance Company until the building was sold in 1950. During these four years, the Lampshaders have grown from six to twenty-five members, varying in age from nine to sixty years. The 4-H Club last year took up the making of Lamp shades as one of their projects, and at the County-wide 4-H Fair their work won several ribbons. Janet Edwards won second prize in the senior state 4-H craft contest held in Blacksburg, Va. Stock and equipment has increased to such an extent that the group has outgrown its old shop, and the Foundation has recently reconditioned the second floor of the mill to accommodate this rapidly growing industry.

historic image of children building lampshades

“Junior Lampshaders”, image by Marion Post Wolcott

At the classes, members receive instruction, materials and suggestions in planning and design, which they may profitably develop at home, a system particularly appealing to mothers of young children. Materials are furnished at wholesale prices.

In the last three years the group has collected lamp bases to combine with its shades. The artists specialize in making bases from antique glassware, bottles, oil lamps pitchers, tea pots, candle moulds, tea kettles, children’s toys, coffee grinders, old sad irons and even decoy ducks. The bases and shades they make for children’s rooms are original and designed to appeal to youngsters. Many customers bring their own treasures to be converted into lamps.

The Lampshaders are always on the lookout for unusual materials. Dyed feed sacks, spun rubber papers, spun glass and the popular new plastics have all been adapted to lamp shades with interesting results. Tinted or antiqued parchments, chintz and watercolors distinguish some, while others are appliqued with hunting scenes, birds or floral prints.

The Lamp Shade Shop is open every Thursday afternoon at the mill from one-thirty to four o’clock.