And A Ribbon Ran Through It 2

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 2

The ribbon is a line, a shape, an adornment, utilitarian, a communicator of color, a texture…and strangely, emotional. Ribbons can even become anthropomorphic…(more on that in a subsequent post).

The following are all “signature” bindings.

WEBkRibbon becomes closure and design element.

WEBpWEBrRibbon integrated into book structure: held between cover boards and that which covers them.

WEBtWEBvTied and untied. Tried and untried?

WEBf WEBg WEBhClosed, open and seen from the back..

WEBa WEBb WEBc WEBdOpenness, step by step.

WEBi WEBjThe colors and patterns of the ribbon become integral to the design of the whole.

use of ribbon can engage the viewer, user, handler, of the piece…tying and untying, opening and closing, and where does the ribbon go when reading, writing or drawing in the book, or even “just” perusing it?

Something so deceptively simple becomes a source of mystery that continually changes.

Like Life.

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 1

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 1

WEB3Beyond adornment…ribbon can add mystery, privacy, secrecy…to a piece. When tied shut with a ribbon, an extra effort is required to open the book, and plummet its depths.

WEB5Side bound.

WEB1WEB2Front and back.

WEBaSingle signature with stitched ribbon.

WEBbSingle signature with glued ribbon and stitched edge.

WEB2Front and back inside cover ribbon framing.

WEBaRibbon closure with button and and stitched buttonhole.

WEBdWEBeRibbon embellishment.

WEBa1WEBcHyper ribbon embellishment.

WEB1Tied ribbon, woven ribbon, glued ribbon.

WEB1WEB2WEB3Woven and wrapped ribbon with repurposed felt button closure.

WEB1WEB2Accordion book ribbon ties using two ribbons.

WEB1Accordion book ribbon closures using one ribbon.

WEBfWEBeAccordion book ribbon glued under cover adornment.

WEB4WEB5Fan book ribbon ornament.

Looking Up: Griffith Observatory Murals

Looking Up: Griffith Observatory Murals

20130317_144158Heaven may be right there on the ceiling…or a bit of it, anyway!

A trip into LA’s  Griffith Park, with the express intent of seeing the Hugo Ballin Murals in the W. M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda  of the amazing Griffith Observatory  yields immediate results.  If you would like to do this yourself…here are the instructions:

Walk into the W. M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda  of the  Griffith Observatory, stand still, and look up.  This is what you will see…

20130317_142353Turn your head slightly, and you will see a whole new view, and details that may have escaped your initial glance!

20130317_142411No delayed gratification here!

20130317_144323

“On the vaulted ceiling and upper walls of the W. M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda are Griffith Observatory’s greatest artistic treasure: the Hugo Ballin Murals. Workers have carefully and completely restored the murals so that they appear as they did when first painted by muralist, film producer, and author Hugo Ballin (1879-1956) in 1934-35.

20130317_144422

Medieval cathedrals told stories in stone. The Ballin ceiling mural celebrates classical celestial mythology, with images of Atlas, the four winds, the planets as gods, and the twelve constellations of the zodiac. The eight rectangular Ballin wall murals depict the “Advancement of Science” with panels on astronomy, aeronautics, navigation, civil engineering, metallurgy and electricity, time, geology and biology, and mathematics and physics.

20130317_144500

In addition to Griffith Observatory, Hugo Ballin’s murals also appear throughout Los Angeles in such noted buildings as the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the Los Angeles Times Building, and Los Angeles City Hall Council Chambers.” —http://www.griffithobservatory.org/exhibits/brotunda.html

20130317_144630

The joy is in the soft range of hues used, and the details, which combine to create a harmonious, yet thrilling whole, and complete the narrative.

20130317_144222

The nearby fluidly shaped recessed ceiling is also highly ornamental, treated to what looks to be meticulously applied painted texture, or “paint effects“, a magnificent central floral/sunburst style image,

20130317_144310

bands of architectural details gracing its curves, gold surfaced “dentils” , and repeated lines and shapes which, in concert with the color palette, tie it all together.

20130317_144227

If all things Griffith fascinate you,  may enjoy seeing this video on the Park, the Observatory, the Murals, and the man who started it all, Griffith J. Griffith.

Enjoy the view!

Glimmer, Glamor, Glow and Glitter

Glimmer, Glamor, Glow and Glitter

Glow and glimmer, sheen and shimmer…the holidays are almost upon us…with their pressure, their joy, their longing, and their brilliance.

Stenciled  light switch covers, metallic  bathroom stripes, gilded stairway banisters, and golden ceilings created with layers of glaze are just a few of the unending treatments which can add shine, glitter and glamor to the space of the  built environment.

Dutch metal enhances a floret, and tinted wax a medallion…applications creating the illusion of precious metal are limitless.

Gilded furniture details spring to life against black, creating an elegant and festive air. Black tie optional, anyone?

       

Gold is not the only star…silver and copper have exciting roles to play for all ages, , both inside and out.

So…wish upon a star this holiday season…and, glow for it!

Decorative Painting: A Life in Review

Decorative Painting; A Life in Review

Having spent many years, and still spending them in this broad arena we call, “Decorative Painting”, I wanted to take a moment to step back, and look into what comprises this multifaceted field…which could be described as the enhancement of the built environment.

Decorative painting can involve the coating, texturing and stenciling of small, utilitarian objects.

It can be the embellishment on an “industrial” scale with latex paint and big brushes, of a commercial establishment….a kind of  “branding”.

Exterior, …

         or interior, with graphic design and lettering

Decorative painting is

wall glazing…

ceiling stippling and custom stenciling…

and layering of color.

.

It is pattern…

and marble

,                  and gold

.

It is pure joy.

It can be pure love.

It will transform.

Featured Work: A Niche Greater then the Sum of its Parts

Featured Work: A Niche Greater then the Sum of its Parts

The Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “niche” as:

  • a recess in a wall especially for a statue b: something (as a sheltered or private space) that resembles a recess in a wall
  • a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted
  • a habitat supplying the factors necessary for the existence of an organism or species
  • the ecological role of an organism in a community especially in regard to food consumption
  • a specialized market

What is the connective tissue between the various definitions above? It seems to me that the term “niche” indicates a unique space specific to an individual, species or thing.

Those of us in the fields of decorative painting, carpentry, wood working, design, architecture and building most likely have designed, created, built, painted or adorned a niche or two at one point or another.

Those of us in our own businesses, entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, creative-preneurs, creators, and those of us training, schooling, learning, job-searching,  job creating , or job holding,  have at least one thing in common: we want, need, or are compelled to “find our niche“, our “place” in our respective fields, professions, markets, companies, schools, programs, jobs, or careers. We are moved to find that  elusive (and sometimes colorful!)  unique space which seems to defines us authentically,  in our worlds of work, family, society, and community.

Abby Kerr, copywriter,  blogger, niche marketer, and owner of Abby Kerr Ink says of her work: “It’s about nichifying your offerings to meet your right people right where they are.” .  Within the “niche” business model, the proposition of uniqueness in gifts, talents, voice, sensibilities, skills, and offerings would seem to be a given.

So it is with Clients, who wish to express themselves by making something even more unique of their architectural niche space, at home.

Beloved Clients of mine purchased a “dream” retirement home…well, a house they planned to transform with color, design, furnishings, and decorative painting INTO their dream home, with the skilled assistance of various vendors.

Their realtor suggested a mural application for the hitherto unadorned wine bar niche, and the game was on!

Niche before "niche-y" adornment

My Clients had spent decades living in Southern California, and were enchanted by the Sonoma Wine Country in which their new house was situated.  They were  thrilled about making the Wine Country a theme in their new home.

We chatted about vineyard scenes, and determined we didn’t want a “prototypical” one.  We looked at photos, colors, applications and mock-ups.  We determined that a softly rendered scene of lines of vines gently receding to meet misty hills under a golden sky would be best.  I applied the mural with semi-transparent washes of glaze, as opposed to opaque paints, (an unusual approach) to the back wall of the niche, and glazed its side walls and ceiling in layers of red wine-y colors.  Involved with the whole process from start to finish, my Clients were delighted with the outcome. which reflected THEM, and the unique place they were at in their lives, right at that moment.

"Niche-y" adornment reflects Them

The entire wall into which the “niche-y” Wine Bar niche was placed was treated in concert with its “niche-y” focal point, the Vineyard mural.  The walls were painted a strong red, mitigated by an application of three deeper  red “wine-y” hued glazes applied simultaneously.  An original “adage” penned by the Clients was lettered in “grapey” purple, and sparkling metallic colors.  The built-in cabinetry and bottle storage were base painted and wood grained (treated with “faux bois”) in tones of “sweet rosy brown” , which worked beautifully with the bar’s countertop.

The Niche is part of the Whole

My Clients were pleased with a result which reflected Them, and their unique take on where they felt themselves to be, right at that moment.  The process of developing a “niche-y” design of artful applications in their Wine Bar niche, and throughout their new home during a time of transition helped them through that transition, and eased their way into a new phase of life. You might say that they “niched” their new home to reflect the people they had become, and created a “niche” of the entire house which would  support them in their adaptation to retirement, containing and expressing both the effects of their “old” life, and expressing their excitement about the new.

In this way, “nich-ing” can not only become an expression of our deepest selves, our uniqueness, offerings and worth, it can also help us to embrace our lives and experiences as they are now, and move more confidently, and happily, into the future.

When have you used your art or craft to create or enhance a niche, for yourself, or for others?  What was the quality of the process and its outcome?  If you feel so inspired, please share your unique, “niche-y” experience with us. We love to hear from you. Remember, we are all  in this thing called Life, together.