September 26th, 2010

Reflecting on the Possibilities

As a decorative artist and surface finish designer, I’ve enjoyed creating literally 100′s of unique finishes that incorporate pattern. In fact, I simply don’t “do” a finish without pattern!! I love the combination and manipulation of design, medium, tools, color, textures, and reflective qualities, and the million different ways that those can be combined to create something with purposeful beauty. My latest pattern process “love” is working with mirror and glass, and I am quite proud of the finishes and techniques that I share in our latest Virtual Workshop, Patterned Mirror and Glass. Not only do these techniques present amazing new artistic possibilities, but I really feel that this workshop offers amazing value and opportunities for decorative artisans.

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For this workshop, I’ve taken everything (plus much more) that  I used to teach in a $1,000 3-day hands-on workshop ,and put it into 5 hours of recorded video lessons, an 85-page illustrated book, and a 2+ hour interactive Webinar meeting. When you throw in the cost (and aggravation) savings of an airline flight, hotel room, and schedule juggling, the lower cost of a Virtual Workshop becomes an even greater value! At least that is what our students say…..:)

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But the even biggestvalue of this workshop is not even that you are getting a great deal on unique, quality information that you can review over and over. The biggest value is in what you can DO with the information. Beyond making pretty little glass and mirror samples, this workshop provides you with options for expanding your artistry over a wide variety of new surfaces and applications. If you are a DIYer, you can create unique accents for your home. If you are a professional decorative artisan, you can expand your portolio and add income to your bottom line with valuable additions to your decorative projects. Use these Patterned Mirror and Glass techniques on framed mirrors….

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…ceiling medallions…

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….custom tabletops, countertops, and protective/decorative furniture tops.

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You can have custom mirror shapes cut to create one-of-a-kind wall art…

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…or transform an inexpensive catalog side table into something highly unique and personal.

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Use the easy “Faux Iron Grillwork” to add architectural interest to French doors, cabinet door, and fixed windows.

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There are countless commercial applications for these techniques, as demonstrated by this focal point logo mirror installation by Garay Artisans in a retail boutique. Regina attending one of my hands on mirror workshops a couple of years ago and her company has worked hard to successfully develop their own signature techniques and market them effectively. Photo from Modello by Design, Volume 2.

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Also from Modello by Design, Volume 2, this reverse painted glass backsplash beautifully demonstrates the possibilities of displaying and selling these finishes as backsplash options through high-end kitchen and bath showrooms. If you are already doing cabinet finishing and countertop surfacing, coordinating backsplashes are an easy and elegant “add on” project!

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On a personal note, I also incorporated Patterned Mirror and Glass into my recent wedding. 20″ mirror rounds were patterned and patinated and placed in the center of each table. They beautifully reflected the lovely flowers and flickering votives. The cake “plate” used the same pattern, this time gilding on the front of an undistressed mirror round. Yet another marketing opportunity for these techniques: wedding and event planners!

Want to see more?!  Click here for lots of inspiring past posts on Mirror and Glass finishes!

After becoming fully inspired, sign up for our Patterned Mirror and Glass Virtual Workshop to get your login info to start viewing the 36 different video lessons, and you’re on your way!!! Then, take advantage of our Friends with Benefits program: refer a friend and get a $25 product credit while your friend enjoys registering with $25 off!! Call Jillian at 800.663.3860 for details.

We also have Virtual Workshop Combo Packages where you can save by enrolling in multiple workshops at once.

September 24th, 2010

Eat. Play. Love.

Married life is SWEET!  Our special day went by in such a fast blur I really appreciate having these photos to relive it and it makes me smile everytime I play this video I created through Animoto….Thank you to all of our wonderful, loving  friends and family who were there, and all who weren’t who sent their love and good wishes.

September 23rd, 2010

Ancient+Modernista

I love going to Europe! My favorite European city so far HAS to be Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia, Spain. Barcelona has it ALL you see: the sea, the mountains, cava (champagne!), tapas, shopping and people watching along La Rambla, the Bari Gotic (old Gothic Quarter). It was not exactly PAINFUL to get “stuck” there for 5 additional days at the end of our honeymoon last April!

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Our wonderful local friend, Paul Deprez picked us up from the apartment we needed to vacate in the moody, Medeival, Bari Gotic area and got us settled in to a lovely modern hotel in the Eixample (phonetically eye-sham-pla) district.

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Developed mainly in the first  part of the 20th century, the Eixample district is famous for its unique Modernista architecture and the amazing buildings of  Antoni Gaudi, such as Casa Batll√≥ shown above. While I truly love the old, historic streets and buildings of the Bari Gotic, the Eixample district for me is an inspiring source of jaw-dropping visual delights.  In fact, there are so many fine examples of fine craftsmanship and insanely beautiful decorative details that could be easy for many to completely miss them because THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!

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Of course, some of the most striking architectural details, for me, are in the abundant sgraffito walls and facades.

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Sgraffito is a process of scraping and scratching through a top layer of colored plaster to reveal a different color layer below.

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I have written before about the sgraffito in Florence, Italy, but in Barcelona the look is uniquely light and colorful.

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In addition to the amazing sgraffito, there is ornate plasterwork, exquisitely detailed metalwork, and unusual stained glass.

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I will be traveling BACK to Barcelona for a few days next week, on my way to our painting trip in Umbria, Italy, to visit with Paul and finalize the details on ANOTHER painting adventure-to Barcelona in June 2011!! This trip will feature the best of many worlds, as it will include a 5-day stay in a serene, historically significant monestary in the rolling hills just outside of Barcelona where we will conduct a class and complete a painting project on site. After the project is complete,we will move to apartments in the city for a week to experience this amazing city up close, in between side trips to taste cava and explore the surrounding area.

More details to follow, but please let me know if you are interested in travelling to Barcelona with me, because the group will be limited to just 8….

Pssst! There are some fantastic flickr sets of photos of Barcelona and the Eixample district if you want to see more!