Before making lampshades, Lis Herbert had a little letterpress print shop, where she designed patterns inspired by Indian textiles, and printed them in a way that tried to mimic the look and feel of fabric. After a number of years it was obvious that she really just wanted to work with textiles, and she knew that whatever she made should have some utility, but should also be special and not that easy to come by.
There are few better things to do with old silks and cottons than make lampshades: they are beautiful objects, but useful, too, rarely touched and therefore protected.
Lis started a lampshade workshop called Perrotine, named for a great big cast iron printing machine invented in France in the 19th century to automate the process of block printing, and a nod to her life as a printer. She sews every lampshade by hand in her studio, in the small town of Lincoln, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and two boys.