Thursday, September 24, 2015

Day 11 Author Blog Challenge

Describe the research process for your book. Did you interview people? Travel? How prominent a role did the Internet play? If you didn’t do new research, how did you learn what you needed to know to write your book?

I think I answered most of this in yesterday’s post, however, in the spirit of the challenge I’ll respond to this prompt from another angle using the ‘how to’ book I wrote, How to make plastic ribbon lampshades.

My husband and I have been collecting and dealing in Barsony lamps for many years. We’d prefer to simply collect and keep, however, the price of these items, when compared to the size of our purse only allows them to stay with us for a while before on selling to purchase another. For those who aren’t aware of Barsony products, a few examples can be seen on one of my Pinterest boards

Barsony ceramics was an Australian ceramics manufacturing company operated by George and Jean Barsony from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. Their factory was located in Guildford, near Sydney. They produced many forms of slip mould household decor items, which included candlesticks, figurines, lamp bases, ashtrays, wall hangings, bookends, figure vases, bowls etc. 

Highly collectible Barsony black lady lamps come in many different forms and were once a part of the modern retro household, before losing favour and being relegated to the garage or the attic, where they gathered dust until the retro renaissance gave them a high value to the collector. The majority of these lamps had plastic ribbon shades and although this material was used by many lamp makers of the day, they have now become synonymous with Barsony and are marketed today as Barsony Plastic Ribbon Lampshades.

I’d often purchased lamps without their plastic ribbon shade or when the shade had been in a sad case of disrepair or had a replacement fabric or style that detracted from the lamp base. The shades can be found for sale on EBay or other online auctions, but often they’re not in the colours or style required for originality or else the price is exorbitant. I decided to make my own shades and when I was unable to source the plastic ribbon tape, the idea came to me of how to make my own tape and from here the book was born.

If all I’d done was write instructions with illustrations it would have been more an instruction manual than book, so I decided to write a brief history of George Barsony and his products and background Kalmar Pottery, who made similar products, with information on how to distinguish between the two. Much of the information I already had through previous research when I was writing EBay guides some years ago, most of which I’d researched through the internet and from my own experience and observations from buying and selling. All illustrations were my own images or graphic creations.

I did have a letter I received from Jean Barsony (George’s wife) in response to a letter I wrote about ten years ago when I first started thinking about writing about Barsony products, which I didn’t include. I also wrote to a member of her family requesting permission to use a particular image. When they didn’t reply I decided not to use it.

Other research included looking for additional information on the internet about where different components could be sourced from but, beyond that, all other information came from the knowledge I’d learnt along the way and from my own designs.

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For some reason I'm yet to fathom I'm unable to reply to comments left by others so thank you for dropping by and taking the time to read and comment. Merlene