Friday, October 29, 2010

Take the Plunge...!

Scarlett Abbott photo
Let's go swimming!  On second go ahead....I am going to check out this pool house!

Scarlett Abbott photo
 Artist Scarlett Abbott is the genius decorator of this marvelous pool house. Nothing escapes detail in this design...look at the shell encrusted lantern and marine themed groin vaults.

Abbott photo
Shells adorn most of the furniture and some of the arched doorways!

Abbott photo
Love those shell sconces mounted on the antique mirror walls.

Abbott photo
More shells and nautical themes ! Notice the shell encrusted arched doorway in the mirror reflection...

Tedesco photo
Want more? How about Andrew Tedesco's work. New York based artist Andrew, created this 30 foot scene on canvas in his studio and installed it on site.

Tedesco photo
The other walls were painted on site to continue the illusion...

Tedesco photo
These pool houses show the power of design and execution....take ownership of your walls and create your own fantasy world!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Elusive Spanish Moire...

This week, a friend of mine posted the above photo of a book in his family's collection. He had not seen this pattern of marbled paper before and was he should be! This is probably the most sought after pattern used for bookbinding paper....the Spanish Moire!

Examples of Spanish Moire

Photo from "Marbling- A Complete Guide to Creating Beautiful Patterned Papers and Fabrics" by Diane Vogel Maurer with Paul Maurer
Marbled paper is made by placing drops of color onto a thickened bath of chemicals and water.
The more elaborate patterns of marbled paper can have up to 15-20 steps, using handmade combs and rakes.
The basis of the Spanish Moire is the Spanish wave....easier to manipulate, but not for the beginner, the paper is gently rocked as it is lain on the surface of the bath, thus producing the lines- or waves.
These papers are hard enough to produce, but the Spanish Moire adds another step to the process....

You have to fold the paper in a certain way before you lay it on the marble bath...while gently rocking the paper...and tilting the bath!!! The paper above was made by marbler Iris Nevins and is from the book "Marbled Designs-A Complete Guide to Fifty-Five Elegant Patterns" by Patty Schleicher and Mimi Schleicher.

Iris Nevins photo

Iris uses parts of the Spanish Moire process and isolates the ripples or waves.

This is an example of Spanish Moire, with the almost three dimensional look of waves and ripples.

This is Spanish Moire at it's best! The design is distorted, shifted into almost a topographical map. Only the best marblers can produce this amazing look.

Similar to the Spanish Moire is this form of Suminigashi. Color is applied to the bath and then blown on and manipulated with a stylus into the more linear design above.

You can see that suminigashi is used for the background of this asian design.

Falling in love with marbling yet? You can get some wonderful reproductions in the John Derian line now featured in Target stores.

Just check the stationary section for some beautiful organizers covered with traditional examples of marbled papers!

Thanks to Steve Shriver for his passion and curiosity of the arts and thanks to Regina Garay for linking him to a previous post I made on marbling! Love you guys!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Aubusson....woven works of art

In the mid 17th c in Paris, elaborate wool and linen rugs were woven.

The combination of linen, wool and natural dyes made  for a product that still stands out today against mass made, synthetic dyed weavings.
These rugs were based on rugs of the court for Louis XIV and were made for wealthy homes.

Treated like a painting, the weavings captured highlights and shadows with the small, flat stitches.This Aubusson fragment is from a wonderful post by Interesting Antique Textiles

The combination of blues, rust and cremes were a staple in these designs.

Look at the detail in this! Even the small beads around the circle have wonderful highlights and shading.

Morgaine Le Fay antique Textiles is another source for more photos and information on Aubusson.

Finding these treasures is a little hard but when you do, you have an investment! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Macabre Art

One hour from Prague is Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora where the Church of All Saints is located.

With Halloween approaching, macabre art is on my mind. The Czech Sedlec Ossuary began around 1400 to house an overabundance of buried bodies.

An ossuary is a final resting place for human skeletal remains and becomes a necessity when burial space is scarce.

It is estimated that the bones of 40-70 thousand people are in the basement ossuary.

The bubonic plague and later Hussite Wars provided the bodies that now decorate the church. Wood carver and artist, Frantisek Rint designed how the bones would be placed.

This chandelier contains every bone in the human body. You can look at this as macabre, but there is beauty and symmetry in the designs Rint created. I think I would rather have my remains used in this way than to take up space in the ground!
 Thanks to the Berger Foundation for the endless files of photos of art around the world. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Art of Grottesca

Carolina d'Ayala Valva photo
Grotesque-is defined as the decorative art of combining human and animal forms with scrollwork and foliage. Like stringing pearls- urns, acanthus leaves, cherubs and other fanciful designs are stacked in a linear design or expanded horizontally knitted together through scrollwork. The work of Carolina d'Ayala Valva is synonymous with grottesca...  and her vibrant colors are achieved through the use of egg tempera paint.

Carolina d'Ayala Valva 
Carolina was born in Italy, but grew up in Brazil. She eventually ended up back in Italy where she and husband Valter Cipriani have an atelier,  L'Artelier, located in the center of Rome.

Carolina d'Ayala Valva photo
Can't make it to Rome? Carolina will teach an intense four day workshop at Vigini Studios in San Antonio Nov. 8-11. Nicola and Leslie Vigini are opening their studio for this wonderful event!

Carolina d'Ayala Valva photo
Her attention to detailed shading and use of layered tempera takes her work to a master level.

d'Ayala photo

Carolina's work is now available in book form!

She will be signing copies the night before the workshop begins.

Art+Works photo
A timeless technique, this is a detail from an arabesque done by 18th c artist Giovanni Volpato.

...and others carry on the tradition..Mario Bresciani  of Brescia, Italy is shown building the layers of paint to create the luminous finish.
 I will be attending Carolina's workshop in November and hope to bring back some of the knowledge these masters hold in their hands!  A few slots are left for the workshop....want to join me?
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