While many people are familiar with silk screening as an abstract concept, the process of turning a digital image into silk screened wallpaper is admittedly mysterious- and amazing. Here’s an overview of the process.
First, we e-mail our digital files to the printing facilities. The image is printed on special plastic paper, called film. Then this crazy machine uses light to burn the film onto silk.
The silk screen allows paint to seep through to paper below only where the pattern should be. For a pattern such as our “Blackbird,” there may be two screens.
Paint is poured and distributed evenly…
And finally, the screen is washed with high powered hoses.
The more I keep my eye out for patterns, the more I am struck by the enormous variety of ways in which they appear. From wallpaper to fabric, rugs to book covers, posters to building facades, patterns differ in style but always create a distinct, highly energetic style.
Here’s a table at a coffee shop, which not only has a pattern carved into its surface but also shows a mirrored image (in shadow) on the floor. I took the photo with my new iPhone- many more of these to come…
The Whitworth Art Gallery at the University of Manchester is hosting what looks like a fantastic wallpaper exhibition. If you’re in the area, check it out, and if not, here are a few highlights. Thank you Tom Slaughter for alerting me!
Whenever I want inspiration, I open my “Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book,” published in 1961. Boasting over 300 color illustrations, the guide mixes amazing photos of mid-century modern spaces with practical advice that still holds true almost fifty years later.
Today I’ll point your attention to the idea of patterning ceilings. As Better Homes & Gardens points out, wallpaper on ceilings is smart when you want to lower a too-high ceiling or call attention to an unusual shape. I would also add that wallpapering a ceiling adds an unexpected twist to any room and asserts a confident design aesthetic. Depending on the style paper, the effect can range from edgy/cool to traditional/formal. But no matter the aesthetic, ceiling wallpaper declares that you care about your space and demonstrates that you will make sassy choices to enliven it. Remember: no risk no reward!
We just sold some rolls of wallpaper to our first client in the Netherlands. Arnhem to be exact. Once again, loving that global village.
Today Arnhem, tomorrow….
Enjoy the long weekend!
New York Magazine recently covered patterns in their Fall Fashion Preview.
Whether its wallpaper, fabric, or any other medium, we support the pattern revival!
A restaurant’s choice to wallpaper can be its single most effective design decision for two reasons. First, restaurants and stores must quickly establish a design identity that is felt and understood the instant anyone walks in the door. Especially for street-side establishments (such as this one), wallpaper effectively separates the interior space from its surroundings by presenting large swaths of color and pattern.
Secondly, restaurant wallpaper gives patrons a comforting sense of establishment, permanence. People like regular destinations- places to return to and share with friends. Like a menu that changes by the season but always maintains its trademark dishes, wallpapered walls suggest a long-term commitment, as if to say, “this place is here to stay. Get comfortable. Enjoy yourself.”
I’m kicking this week off with Warhol’s famous 1966 “Cow” wallpaper. More than any other wallpaper artist, Warhol proved that wallcoverings can be fun, young, dramatic, hilarious, absurd, irreverant, insane. Warhol also blurred the distinction between fine art and wallpaper — one of my ongoing interests.
In my ongoing exploration of alternative uses for wallpaper (and what to do with wallpaper scraps, if you have them), I will suggest framing a section of the paper on its own. Although the repeat effect will be lost, many wallpapers look great in smaller pieces — especially if its colors are bold and the composition dynamic. (Cavern patterns are perfect.) Framing wallpaper also works well for renters.
Someone sent in this beautiful installation shot, and I didn’t recognize the person’s name. Turns out, this was a photo shot by Domino Magazine — it never made it to print! RIP Domino. I still miss it.