Our first blog with our new look and our ‘responsive’ blog design. We added Beaux-Artes’ product links for some of our newest products. This blog has always focused on all things classical with occasional mentions of Beaux-Artes‘ projects and products. I have received questions about my background and why I am focused on classical beauty. This blog is about who we are, what we are doing and planning. Particularly since Beaux-Artes is also undergoing a makeover. Look for a name change coming up along with our new website and store. We love the name but without owning Beaux Arts, (without the e) it is too time consuming to get the correct spelling (which is actually the incorrect spelling) to get to us online. Who would have thought 13 years ago when we began our company that Siri would be able to take you to our store on your mobile device.
We are focused on Classical Beauty today because it is Classic. Love that distinction. It represents the epitome of style, design, and quality. Timeless and enduring. My answer to why classical is why not? We see the amazing partnership with technology to reproducing classic beauty. We are thrilled and excited to create classic digital masters for our products. Our newest decorative grille style is our Louix XIV decorative grilles which have never looked better. Our 3D scanner has enabled us to redesign our classic Louis XIV decorative grille line and add a beautiful lamb’s tongue decorative molding. We love the new look. We are in the process of making the masters so if you wish to place an order, contact us and we can work to expedite your size. Otherwise, we are starting with the smallest and working our way through all the 60 sizes required to meet the needs of today’s heating and air conditioning ducts and vents covers.
Beaux-Artes’ Arts and Crafts grilles are in the movies again. Warner Bros. is working on the new comedy, Arms and the Dudes, starring Jonah Hill. Release date 2016. The true story of two men who were contracted by the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan. Dudes is based on Guy Lawson‘s Rolling Stone article, which follows two stoners from Miami Beach who ended up becoming arms dealers for the U.S. government. Of course, they are only grilles so more than likely it will be a cameo appearance. Our grilles best roles were in several episodes of the TV series Supernatural. The evil entities entered the spaces in the shape of smoke through our grilles.
Beaux-Artes’ Arts and Crafts grille is a great decorative thermal resin grille and an affordable alternative to a metal grille.
The Sugar Factory restaurants in New York and Miami are using Beaux-Artes new Victorian 3″ decorative recessed light trims which fit Halo and Lithonia 3″ recessed lighting. We now offer 8 sizes in our most popular Victorian trim for recessed lights. $30
Our latest new style recessed chandelier is available for all 8 Victorian recessed light trims and our Florentine decorative trims. Shown below with 1-1/2″ Clear U-Drop crystals. Also available with teardrop crystals. $242
One of our most popular handpainted plaster ceiling designs is this Shell Medallion shown in our Chinese Red. It measures 87″ x 35″($1,050 Standard Finish) used by designer, Steve Lewis who designs many New York Clubs, most recently used it in the Club Europa. We used it in a Men’s Wardrobe recently and the 87″ length was perfect in the space.
Since taking over the manufacturing of our products in 2013, we have built our facility and improved every aspect of our products from the quality of the resin to the equipment used to create our 3D masters. Here is Stuart with our granddaughter in one of our casting rooms. Our next phase is to continue to expand the styles we offer in our decorative grille product line and our decorative options for recessed lighting. Then we plan on developing our Wall Art Products which now include our architectural wall panels and handpainted canvas panels. I love what I refer to as our classical solutions for the modern intrusions which are the HVAC and recessed lights, but what really excites me is looking at large expanses of drywall, our walls and ceilings. In today’s homes I consider all the drywall a modern intrusion. Very different than the paneled or plastered walls of the past.
Don’t want to show anything before we can offer it, but here are some winners in my Best Dressed Walls Category. Keep you guessing what we are working on.
Best Dressed Walls
What is your favorite?
Scagliola has been a mystery outside the decorative arts realm. There are only few people who are familiar with the art of Scagliola, a fascinating and special technique, that uses natural components, managing to render perfectly valuable materials, such as marble, and other natural and semi-precious stones. Today scagliola is becoming a high-end favorite being used for vases, staircases, columns, countertops and table tops. Beautiful blends of pigment and plaster are assuming forms and functions unavailable even to their stone-age ancestors.
Scagliola Columns in the Willard Hotel, Washington, DC
History of Scagliola
The first examples of scagliola were created in Roman times from selenite, which derives from a gypsum stone found in Italy’s Appennine Mountains. Italian monks honed the technique in the 17th century.
16th Century Scagliola Tabletop.
In the United States, scagliola was widely used from the mid-1800s to the 1930s, in elaborate churches, capitol buildings and theaters for large columns, wall cladding, pilasters and door surrounds.
Black scagliola door portals
The appeal then as now was the amount of marble demanded for such massive works would have been prohibitively expensive, if available at all. Scagliola looks like natural marble and is just as durable, but it is less expensive and can be formulated in a limitless range of colors and textures. William Millar wrote more than a century ago in Plastering, Plain and Decorative; “Experience has proved that it will last as long as the house it adorns, and with an occasional cleaning, it will always retain its polish and beauty.” It is these qualities that have refocused interest in scagliola. Although less expensive than marble, scagliola projects are labor intensive and highly specialized. The finest results demand historical knowledge, technical excellence in fabricating the material, and the trained eye and hand of the decorative artist.
However, all art historians mention that the art of Scagliola was never only used as an economical alternative, in order to replace valuable materials. On the contrary, it has emerged as an extremely valuable art through the centuries, with masterpieces highly appreciated by kings and rulers of that time. Respectively, nowadays the works of Scagliola are highly appreciated as works of great artistic value, as can be seen in galleries, auctions and in the world artistic market in general.
This fireplace is so incredible.
Pietro Antonio Paolini table top 1735
The traditional European technique uses lumps of a doughy mixture with mineral pigment for veinng. More common is the marezzo technique, which employs an almost-liquid mixture and raw silk fiber for veining. Marezzo is sometimes known as American Marezzo because of its popularity in the United States. While the mixture varies for each installation, the process is similar.
Traditional European Technique
First, precise molds of the object are created. Then a basic scagliola recipe is produced. This usually includes some combination of gypsum plaster, hydrostone, Keens cement, and mineral pigments to achieve the desired tint. Artisans then work in the raw silk fiber to create veining and cast the dougly mixture into molds. Once the scagliola has hardened, grinding and polishing begin. Hand polishing takes over several weeks, using water and a fine grade of sandpaper. The surface is buffed with aluminum oxide and coated with a surface-enhancing sealant called carnauba wax for protection.
Scagliola Fireplace by Wells Vissar for Tavern on the Green, New York
Stone Age Designs
Scagliola Tables by Galleria Romanelli