PART 4 – Elephant Lamp and Goldfish Lampshade: Today’s post shows how I made the elephant lamp and goldfish lampshade in the child’s bedroom at the end of my picture book, My Bed.
Part 1 gives an overview of the page.
Part 2 focuses on the outside architectural details of the cut-away house.
Part 3 takes a peek inside at the furniture and the sleeping child.
Future parts will be about all of the other animal icons represented in the scene.
My original idea for this illustration was to show a universal child sleeping in bed, surrounded by stuffed toys that looked like the animal icons featured throughout the book. I soon realized that the bed and floor around it wouldn’t accommodate all of the animals, so I came up with other ways spread them around the room.
The sturdy elephant turned into a lamp base and the goldfish ended up swimming around a sea blue lampshade. The goldfish icon first appears on the text panel in the Japanese spread in the book.
To make the lampshade, I appliqued an embroidered felt goldfish head and tail onto a piece of blue felt.
I added a felt back piece and edged the front and back with wire on the top and bottom. That way, it would stick out and stay curved like a real shade.
For the lamp base, I shrunk the elephant down to about 1/2 the size of the spot illustration on the text panel on the Indian page of the book.
To make the armature, I bent a pipe cleaner and threaded one end through a wooden bead. The bead would become the head and the pipe cleaner extension would form the trunk.
Then I wrapped the pipe cleaner trunk with embroidery floss, covering the fuzzies like the dolls’ arms and legs are made in my how-to book Felt Wee Folk.
I sewed pieces of felt inside the body to fill in the void and give it bulk.
I then covered the bead head and body with pieces of felt. It’s been a few years, so I can’t remember exactly how this part was done, but I remember that it was rather fussy. I probably used 2 separate pieces for the front and back of the body and the head.
You can see the difference in scale between the 2 elephants in the photo of my work table below. They’re like the mother and baby elephant in my first children’s book, The Way Home.
Replicating the blanket at 1/2 size was also fussy, but at least it was flat!
Wouldn’t it be fun to have a full size version of this lamp, with the elephant made out of clay or wood and a painted goldfish swimming around the shade?
Stay tuned for more posts about the other animals in this scene.
To keep up with new posts, please subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page). Your contact info will not be sold or shared. If you’d like to see more frequent photos tracking the projects in my studio, please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram