An entity of interior design that develops and turns a space into an effective conceptual project and enters significantly in relation with its form: the lampshade.
The frame is the backbone of the lampshade, the efficient adaptation to its modern function. It is composed by a set of elements making up the skeleton of a rigid supporting structure with which some parts of less resistance are connected.
A lampshade has a metal structure with two or more orders of straight wire supports holding up the upper and the lower edges; the frame has a central socket to attach the light bulb and is made of a metallic wire, galvanized or covered with plastic, usually painted white to prevent oxidation and rust.
The lamp saddle and socket can have different sizes: the small E14 or the large E27 wire fitting, eventually with a reducer or an adapter ( i.e. a white plastic ring, or a converter plug, that goes between the socket and the bulb), permanently attached to the shade which is directly installed to the lamp socket (EC European or BC British fitting system).
The most common types of the US fitting system are: a) the washer top (or spider top), with the 1/2″ recess or the flush fitter, that is usually used with harp and finial and can be converted to clip top with a specific adapter;
b) the clip-on top, either with the flush fitter or with the 1/2″ and 2″ recess, that regularly snaps at the standard light bulb, as well as the torpedo clip wire ring with flush fitter for candle light bulb;
c) the uno-bridge top for lampshades where the light bulb hangs down, permanently attached to the frame and screwed to the lamp socket shell, with 1″ and 1 1/2″ recess fitters;
d) the chimney top, i.e. a large center wire ring that fits over the glass, eventually with its particular riser to lift the shade.
Its strength is the close relation with the tradition in order to manage the pursuit of the effective use of space. There are two main categories of frames: the first one based on the geometric full-figure; the other one, on the shield (or half frame), i.e. the geometric semi-figure. All these geometric patterns provide well-definite angles and lines that give a simple or theatrical, traditional or innovative, specific or multifunctional appearance to each lampshade.
The frame can be the result of the masterly craftwork that allows to appreciate imperfection, irregularity and asymmetry or, on the contrary, of the standardized modern industrial production. But against the mechanisation, the handmade artisan work represents the amazing expression of creativity and the invention of the form.
Shades come in different shapes. To choose the right type makes the difference: classic or modern, shabby chic or country-style, decorated or linear; in any case, it is important to start from the base to work with and find out what shape really fits into every specific need of lighting and home decor.
A good rule of thumb: square bases take square, square bell or coolie and rectangular shades; round bases take round, spherical, drum, round Chinese coolie, oval and round empire frames.
The flaring circular cone frame, as well as the scallop round bell one, fits perfectly on a candlestick base. The very curvy or richly decorated, chiselled and elegantly adorned with glass, semi-precious stones, porcelain base chooses the bell frame that is slightly curved from the upper edge to the lower one. If the base has a clean line design, or mostly straight lines, the frame will get an up and down vertical slant. The english Victorian style blends magnificently with the scallop frame in all its variations. The modern trend design combines high necks to large oval frames. The shield frame is perfect for bedside lamps; while the empire frame is the real passe-partout!