Palazzo Parma – restoration and inspiration
The Palazzo reception room freshly lined walls and cleaned ceilings with fine retouching.
The perfect place to find inspiration and new product concept.
The inspirational setting furnished plenty of ideas for my new Verre Eglomise commissions.
Above Day 4: White Gold Verre Eglomisé glass panel backed up and looking authentically aged.
Case: 4 Day sample making – Verre Eglomisé panel
Inspiration arrives for the new samples
Let’s face it it’s all about inspiration… and if you haven’t got it coursing then the chances are the work will reflect it.
The sample I am preparing is tricky. It has been replicated from an original panel located in an 18th century Palazzo in central Parma and is one of 5 ceilings I re-touched, that house pretty much enough timeless classic Italian motif to last 5 centuries… or certainly fill my new portfolio.
The problem has been getting hold of the right gelatin and enamels – without them, it can’t be done.
Restored chest 18 century – cleaned, touched-in, beeswax polished
New Samples: Verre Eglomisé – Aim and objective
I want to create a sample that becomes the original… it must be subtle and have finesse, but importantly I also want it to have some rhythm – afterall Parma is home to the Meastro Giuseppe Verdi.
It must be clear enough for the awaiting crew to accept but also bring to them the importance of the delicate nature of this type of brushwork.
Sample Making – New Challenges working overseas
New materials, different materials. I am using stained glass paint as a glaze overlaying a solid enamel lining, all of which is new to me. So far the feeling in the piece is great but it is still a fair jump from using solid opaque Plaka type Pelican enamels as I did in the past. The difference here is it is a softer, transparent painterly effect – rather water colour and unpredictable in some areas. What I like about it is the final image has a French provence kind of twist to it.
Sourcing materials issue: Gelatin saga
After waiting 3 weeks for gelatin on order from the local Pharmacy they finally arrived … blue! Haven’t been able to get pure clear gelatin capsules here in Italy (let me know if you have the connection) but have made do with some emptied vitamin food supplements! So the final product is pretty close to that which I know and love but will help my digestive system no end apparently!
Joking aside the Gelatin capsules I have to use leave residue and lose 5% clarity compared to the sterile clear product I need.
I will have to live with it in the short term.
A couple of interesting details from using Italian products and getting by.
1. The gelatine issue has been a pain but the flipside is that I now have 1000 clear capsules arriving next week and these samples are using a slightly natural tone capsule which has created a minor problem to do with clarity. Proof is in the pud…!
However, for the Italian design market this sample is perfect because it has a host of charming anomalies.
2. Italian white gold. Shock at 33.00 euro per book of white G here in Parma. However the moment I picked it up I knew it was the best in the world. Wow! It just cushioned beautifully (the English jumped to the glass). It just floated down soft to the surface … no static… perfect.
3. Stained glass paint. The enamel I found locally for outlining the motif is pretty superb. The glaze colours for the motif are really weird at first. But I found I could create a delicate graduated effect quite quickly, which allowed overlaid, glazed imagery and a fair bit of unexpected extra control. Nice to handle indeed – and lots to experiment with.
One new trick was to fine glaze here (almost pure water) and there to create the effect of blooming and mirror ageing.
Project start-up 3pm GMT Day 1
Below: Lining-in starting on the 8mm plate glass sample panel… very fine lining, shades of umber.
On the angle you can see the fairly cold component nature of the first stage.
… after 2.5 hours we have the stained pictorial complete – next will add 1/4 tone fine edges with diluted enamel… and finish balancing for very subtle ‘hold’ or weighted effect, but the essential final say before gilding.
Gilding. White gold, tarnished and aged.
1st gild down and not looking too bad! Letting it dry for 2nd gild and ageing through.
I am quite happy at this stage. Will pick up some more white gold and bronze tomorrow because I want to wear the first coat back a bit and create a soft distress…
Could just age this and back up but am tempted to do a bit more creative experimentation on this one yet.
What do you think? Go for a Paynes Grey show through distress? Or gild up solid?
… somewhere between the two… madder Violet hints?
Below: Day 3: Second gild today (drying out) and blade trim ready for soft wearing distress and backing up.