Do you have well-loved but not too worn picture books you’d love to pass along? Would you like the opportunity to augment the Gross National Happiness quotient of Bhutan? In the Spring, Elida will be voyaging to Bhutan with a group of adventurers, and while there, they would like to supply an elementary school with as many books as they can carry. Kids there are in need of picture books (not chapter books) for grades 1 – 6. We will be collecting them in the shop for the next several weeks – until March 17th. When you bring in your books, you can choose to be entered in our drawing to win a Bhutanese painting. All books the travelers cannot carry with them will be passed along to the East Bay Children’s Book Project. Tell your friends!
Despite recent news coverage, Oakland is a wonderful place to live and work. Even the New York Times says it is one of the top 5 places in the world to visit in 2012. Grand Avenue in particular is home to 2 of their recommended restaurants: Boot & Shoe, and Camino as well as 2 attractions: Grand Lake Theater and Morcom Rose Garden. As those of you who live in our neighborhood can attest, this barely scratches the surface of things to do and places to eat & shop. And as we can attest – the lively atmosphere of our city is a direct result of the vibrant folks who live & work here!
We at Galleria Scola know that all of you who shop in our store and all the other small businesses that thrive along our avenues do so because you want us to be here now and into the future. It is a conscious decision that we appreciate and it inspires us, in turn, to give back to our community. In the last few months, we have supported many great organizations: Mother Mary Ann Wright Foundation, Girl’s Inc., Beth Jacob Congregation, Corpus Christi School, Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay, Clausen House, Children’s Fairyland, and First Place for Youth. Check out these causes and maybe you will feel moved to support them in whatever way you choose.
Another way to show your Oakland Pride is with a giclee print of a charming scene from Oakland’s history. We have reproduced a few images found on vintage pamphlets advertising Oakland as an up-and-coming place to settle. They are printed on thick cotton rag paper using archival, pigmented inks, and so will last far into the future. Show your Oakland Pride – Oakland Rocks!
A great guy stopped in a while back with a special challenge. He wanted something unusual to display a group of posters – “Do you have frames made of old barn wood?” Well, not exactly, but what were you visualizing? As we discussed further I came to find out he is Chris Pastena, owner of Chop Bar in downtown Oakland. He has done great projects with local artisans in many areas of the restaurant – the reclaimed wood on the walls, the bar area itself – all utilizing repurposed materials of all sorts. This is the kind of challenge we love! We brainstormed a bit more and landed on the idea of old windows. He has posters from the monthly pig roasts Chop Bar hosts in the Spring and Summer, so something quite sizable was in order.
Chris went to a reuse center and found a wonderful long glassed door and pretty much said, “Go to town!” Great!
We started with the window – cleaned it up a bit and lightly sanded the painted frame. Then came the base coat for the crackle distressed finish we had decided upon. After the paint was dry, we applied a crackling medium which goes on very thick then settles itself into odd littel circles. When that was set-up and almost completely dry, the top coat went on – then the magic happens! It begins to crackle!
After about 24 hours, the cracks get even more pronounced. We used two related shades of paint and applied them oppositely on opposing legs of the frame – dark over light in one direction and light over dark in the other direction. We think it came out pretty darn great.
To finish it off, we painted the outside and inside edges black to give the whole piece a little more depth, then mounted the posters onto an oversized matboard backing with thumbtacks. The piece hangs horizontally from the hardware that was formerly it’s door hinges.
Chris was so delighted with the way it turned out, we had to take a photo of him with his new masterpiece!
You can now see it proudly displayed at Chop Bar, and you will not regret stopping in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour! And know that you are supporting a local dining treasure that is hosted by people who support local artists, food producers,and the local economy! Thank you Chris!
Vintage ephemera are always appealing. Elida has acquired a collection of antique labels that were intended for many products from lima beans to hair oil. The lithography has a different look and feel than today’s offset and inkjet printing. The graphics, fonts, and crazy products are all wonderful links to the past. Oh how products have changed for addressing the same issues we have all faced since the beginning of time: skincare, hair care, dandruff, tooth polishing, - vanishing cream!
The labels have never been applied to bottles or jars and so the colors have great subtlety and clarity. Many are luxuriously gold foil stamped. Perfect for your powder room, dressing room, or any small nook that invites a lingering look.
We have a client who has a beloved collection of French landscape paintings by Georges Tiret-Bognet. Unfortunately they had languished in a dark dusty corner of the attic for many years. Fortunately, he knew just where to come to have them spiffed up! We made sure the frames were joined securely, buffed the finish with wax, and reassembled the art into the frames using acid-free backings to ensure their longevity. Now they are proudly hung in an attractive grouping on a small wall finished in Venitian plaster. Very Charming!
With such creative clients, we’re sure you can come up with a good design. So we decided to offer a reward for this challenge. Send us your ideas and we will post our favorites to our website and have everyone vote on it. The grand prize for this assignment is $300.00 worth of custom framing or merchandise and one bottle of Domaine Carneros by Tattinger. Please email your ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘t-shirt contest’, then we will post them on our website for all to vote! Deadline for submissions is Sept. 31, 2011. Get creative!
And we know you do too. However, it’s impossible to enjoy them stashed away in a trunk or drawer. When was the last time you looked through your souvenir trove? If you have an empty nook in your home that you’d like to furnish with something eye-catching, fill it with memories from your adventures! Think of that Indian scarf, Chinese brocade, African raffia cloth, Indonesian batik, Croatian crewelwork, Navajo rug, or blocks from the quilt that Grandma never had time to complete. We can create presentations for (almost) anything – in a deep frame or just securely attached to a presentation mount.
Textiles, fabrics, and most items made from woven materials show very well against a fabric background. We take a solid substrate supported from the back with sturdy wooden slats, hand wrap this base with colorful silk, textural linen, or smooth satin and then attach your object so it is securely supported. It is ready to hang in this state and gives your textile a context and structure that makes it a striking work of art.
Our environments have a lot of dust & contaminants floating around and textiles are particularly vulnerable to attracting and absorbing these. In order to protect pieces of more importance a covering must be used. This can be inside a frame with glass or acrylic that is raised off the piece with varied spacing devices to create room for the object. Another option is to fabricate a plexibox that encloses the entire assembly. Each has it’s own advantages – a plexibox can look very modern and disappear completely, and of course a frame can be as simple or elaborate as you want, adding drama and impact to your pieces.
Use what you already have! You bought it – you already love it – and it will remind you of that beach, mountain or lake where you had the time of your life.
More often than you might imagine, someone tells me they love their framed artwork. But this image captures a rare moment of framing rapture between Reesa Tansey & her antique Chinese infant wrap. Reesa is a commercial real estate maven with Collier’s International. She brings in treasures from her world travels, then kvells over the results.
Three-dimensional objects lend themselves ideally to shadowbox frames. The antique infant wrap from China was a delicate batiked and pieced fabric. The simple presentation includes a silk covered backing board to which the batik was hand tacked with small stitches, surrounded by a liner covered in the same color silk. The frame is a solid maple in a strong beveled profile, finished in a tone that echoes the creamy white in the artwork. Museum glass is the best glazing option for shadowboxes, as it affords an unobstructed view of the details in the objects. You can still appreciate the drape of the fabric and the holes in the corners where the bundle was secured.
Packing & shipping cause more damage than you can imagine. Our friend Gloria O’Quinn, of Le Visage Salon & Gallery on Grand Ave, local Shona sculpture purveyor, received a beautiful three-foot tall carving of a woman, who lost her feet in transit from Zimbabwe.
‘Shona’ describes much of the population of the Bantu Nation living in Zimbabwe as well as the sculpture they create. The Shona have been sculpting stone for nearly a thousand years. Traditionally, items were produced for utilitarian purposes such as headrests, household items, and musical instruments. Then in the mid 20th Century, a new style emerged which was purely for artistic purposes; characterized by highly polished shapes sometimes offset by rough-hewn areas. The stone is serpentine or verdite, which ranges in color from black & green to yellow, orange, grey, red, and even purple. It is considered a semi-precious stone and is extremely hard. Before work begins, the sculptor must find the stone and explore its character. The stone tells the artist what shape it must have, and the artist can only work as long as they carry the image in their mind that the stone has conveyed.
Gloria’s sculpture had an unfortunate accident on the way to Oakland. So, the first step was to assess the damage.
Then we had to determine the composition of the sculpture. In this case, the stone had missing areas around the broken parts that needed to be recreated. Both raw surfaces at the break were sealed to prevent further damage and to prime them to accept the adherent.
Then both pieces were supported by custom devised sandbags and blocks, in preparation for the gluing. The adherent was a tinted epoxy that was then applied to both surfaces. The pieces were put together and left to dry in the custom-made support system. After the basic parts were back together, the missing areas were filled with more epoxy to build up to the final elevation.
When those layers were dry, the epoxy was smoothed and sanded to imitate the surrounding surfaces. To unify the entire repair, we mixed pigment matching the color and applied it with an airbrush. Then the surface sheen was replicated by fine polishing. A sealant was applied at the end to preserve the work.
This stone restoration was difficult to execute, due to the asymmetrical weight of the object. Very often the reason why articles break is a function of their original construction. If you have sculpture that is not able to rest evenly on the surface where it’s displayed, it could be worth remedying the problem before it causes the piece to fall. Some ways of accomplishing this is with build-ups on the item or on the display base using felt or museum gel. If there are any cracks, fissures, or particles around the piece, it is wise to attend to the problem before it gets worse.
We have a client with a watercolor painting that he never quite knew what to do with, so it sat in a drawer for years. He brought it in for a creative solution, and we knew it needed a frame with a door to afford access to the clever workings of the art.