Tag Archives: plaster

An Italian groin vault ceiling… in America

How can one pass up a week in a Tuscan villa? Located just inside of Umbria, an hour from Florence, this to-die-for villa was all you’d expect it to be. (Villa pics coming later.) With the villa serving as our base, we roamed the surrounding areas and just soaked it all in.

While traveling through Arezzo (east of Florence), we fell in love with these groin vaulted ceilings in a non-descript deli. We walked in for lunch, looked up and that was it! So typical of Italy- there is such beauty at every turn.

Arezzo, Italy groin vault ceiling

A few years ago, my SO opened a boutique/cafe that was based on our passion of Italian design. We blew up our video frames of the dome ceiling that we loved in Arezzo to see the pattern and attempted to re-create those designs.

I started out with m-a-n-y sample boards to figure out the finishes; here is one of the final boards- I think I finally figured it out!

Sample board

The groin vault domes (formed by the intersection of two or more barrel vaults) began with a custom engineered metal frame.

Drywall was affixed to the metal frame and the entire ceiling, especially the many seams, was smoothed, filled, sanded, followed by filling and sanding and filling and sanding. The plasterer (Thanks, Dan!) did an AWESOME job.

Almost ready for us...

This is how the ceiling was when we received it. Gulp!

I first primed twice and basecoated twice before even thinking of the finish layers. Then I began applying the three plaster layers, using a custom mix for each layer. The first layer was ochre and lapis blue; the second and third layers were more of what you see- the whites and lapis blues.

Then we painted the designs, some freehand and some with a few specific designs cut in mylar to be consistent on site, trying to stay as close to the original ceiling design as possible.

Once the painting was complete, we added a layer of glaze to “knock back” and age the finish.

We only had 2 weeks to take the ceiling from the raw drywall and seams state to completion.

Still adding! These are the electrical guys for the chandelier installation.

Here we are at work...

The ceiling is 25 feet up there!

Adding details

Here is the beautiful Isola Bella groin vault ceiling, ready for the chandelier to be installed!

We're done! Just waiting for the chandelier

Closeup view of groin vault seam

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Get Rid of Wallpaper Once and For All!

Off with the wallpaper! Here’s what Frank Faulkner did>>

Frank Faulkner, http://frankfaulkner.com, is a Top 50 New York Designer, according to NY Spaces Magazine.He not only is a fabulous designer, but he is also a very talented artist. One of Frank’s recent homes is now featured in the March 2010 issue of NY Spaces Magazine. The circa 1870 home is in Hudson, NY. Having removed the old wallpaper, Frank decided to leave the living room walls “exactly as they were when we tore the wallpaper off, he says, cracked plaster, patination, and all.”

I was recently at a client’s home where the wallpaper had been stripped. Personally, I loved how the walls looked without anything further being done to them. It’s a matter of taste… wallpaper be gone!

Here are a few shots:

"Au naturelle" walls closeup

Walls left "natural" after wallpaper removal

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What a fabulous wall!

Gjelina in LA

Photography: Art Gray

This is the new LA restaurant, Gjelina. I would have loved to have seen the plaster design being made.
Go to www.gjelina.com for more information, hours, etc…

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In case you're wondering…

I’ll be demonstrating 5 finishes at McDhurries tomorrow in Rocky River, Ohio:

-simple glazing,

-last step with a Venetian plaster’s metallic, translucent topcoat to add depth to the plaster,   

-Chinoiserie stencil using Lusterstone in a cool, very French combo of deep amber gold and orchid lavender

-Modello filled with a shimmery silver/white texture over a creamy yellow Venetian plaster

-Foil finishes- am bringing metallic foils and special “faux finished” foils that aren’t even out yet! 

All of these finishes can be applied  in your home or business and are also covered in various classes taught at my studio.

Am looking forward to meeting with you and discovering what you are interested in!

For more info, go to: http://shop.cleveland.com//ROP/Ads.aspx?advid=769741&adid=8049754

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I hope to see you Saturday, 7-11-09,

at McDhurries in Rocky River, Ohio!  I’ll be demonstrating glazing, textures, gold leaf (gilding) and plasters at this FREE consultation from 1-4pm. Deborah Cunningham will also be there for garden and interior design consultations. A big thank you to McDhurries for generously hosting this event. Here’s the event info:http://www.mcdhurries.com/oriental-rugs-cleveland-ohio.html

Here is a metallic silk background with a tone on tone damask. Looks like fabric on the wall! 

PB Living Room 6-09 web

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