Thursday, 11 April 2019

The story of Nicolai's icon

Nicolai sits bent over and paints the last bits of gold made with gold dust he traded for his jacket in this strange town that has become his home the last three years. The gold shimmers in the light of the candle whenever he moves. In the next room, the woman that has been his mother since the war is sleeping now.




He believes that painting this icon will save her and has spent the last three days finding food, caring for her and painting whenever he's had a chance. He lights a small candle and places the icon next to her bed and closes his eyes. But it is too late...




This is just a figment of my imagination but something similar might have happened. I know about the war centuries ago in what is now called Armenia and I have seen the little houses where people took shelter.




When I paint furniture, I transport myself to a different time. I think about people that came before me. Not just my own ancestors, but people from different eras and especially different cultures.




I believe that the process of creating art, whether it is painting a picture or a cupboard, is more important than the artwork itself. Furthermore, to understand and appreciate artwork, we need to feel what the artist felt.




Imagine what people felt and what their lives were like in a time without television, computers and even books. How often did the average person see a picture? Perhaps they had a few treasured paintings at home or maybe they decorated their own furniture. They might have visited a church once a week where they saw painted artifacts or decorated walls. Because of its sheer scarcity, pictures had a power we cannot imagine today.




Through this process, not only do I discover where I fit into the world and human history, but I learn to accept people and what they do. Moreover, I create a "history" for my piece. I imagine how and where it was created, whom it belonged to through the centuries, where it traveled and how many wars or revolutions it survived. This "history" determines what my final piece will look like.




Hopefully, decades or centuries from now, people like us will make the effort to imagine what we feel today. I believe this is the greatest compliment we can pay our ancestors.




The recipes and techniques used to paint and create patina on this icon are from the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course.

Happy Painting!

Tania
XXX
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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

How to make a large clock face for under $30


Large old clock faces are not always easy to find but that's not a problem. You can simply make an inexpensive one from scratch in the design of your choice and age it to perfection. That is exactly what we've done to acquire this and other statement pieces like it. 






Bigger is better


I love oversized pieces in a room. Placing it next to "normal" sized pieces creates a focal point and makes the room bold and exciting. Many people have asked me if using a large clock face, for instance, in a small room will not make the room seem even smaller. The opposite is, in fact, true - the room will actually look bigger! 







How it works


It's as if your mind is saying "well if you can fit something this big into the room, the space has to be big". Or maybe it plays with our sense of proportion - if your brain cannot figure out the exact size of the space, maybe it concludes that it is probably big. Whatever happens, using large pieces really works.





Look at the example above - your brain can easily calculate the size of all the objects based on the chair - you know how big a chair is so everything else is seen in relation to that. However, placing the clock face against a blank wall, the brain will try to find another familiar shape like a door or window as a reference to calculate the size.



Why go big?


My point is, if you are going to spend time making or painting something, it is much better to produce larger pieces that make an impact and can be used in any sized room.



Won't smaller be less expensive?


Not really. Let's say you halve the size, will it cost half the price? No, it will probably cost 20% less. Why is that? We use MDF board which is relatively cheap and comes in large sheets. By not using the full width of the board, you have wastage and the price of half a board won't necessarily be half the price. 

Half the paint will be half the price, but you make the paint yourself so that works out very cheaply anyway.

The main expense is your time. You have to come up with a design, make the construction and paint the whole thing. This is exactly where you save tons on a larger piece. It takes no more time to design a clock face twice the size, it takes marginally longer to construct it and it takes the same time to mix a larger batch of paint than it does for a smaller batch. The only place where the time will be double is painting the larger details, such as the numerals.





How can the materials be so cheap? 

The clock face is painted on 3 mm thick MDF board which we cut into a large circle with a diameter of 1.2m. To make it look thicker while keeping it lightweight, we added a 16 mm MDF frame to the back. The frame can be cut from offcut pieces that you fit together to make a circle. You can cut all the pieces yourself using a jigsaw and attach them with glue, nails or screws - whatever you have available. Then all you need to do is sand all the sharp edges round using 40 grit sandpaper and fill any mistakes or joins with wood filler (unless they are nice looking mistakes).






The process


The design process and paint process we followed are exactly the same as in the Clock Face module of the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Online Course (see image below), even though this clock face is substantially larger than the one in the course. 







How we prepared the clock face before adding the design


The MDF board has a very smooth surface. To ensure we got the best results, we sanded the entire piece and then applied homemade stain followed by several coats of homemade casein paint.



How we altered the design


The design needed some tweaking to suit the size and shape. We decided to stick to the Roman numerals which we merely enlarged. and transferred the outlines onto the surface. You can, however, use other numerals if you wish.

Unlike the clock face in the course, the new design called for a lot of lines. But doing this is a lot easier than you may think. You simply need is to determine the centre of the circle. Then you have to divide the circle into 12 identical wedges. Next, you make a template of the other details you wish to add to a wedge and simply copy it to the other wedges. This way you will avoid a lot of unnecessary measuring.  






Final touches


This part is so easy. You simply need to colour between those lines you've drawn using casein paint. We used several shades of grey and charcoal.





After the paint had dried, we distressed it just enough to look gently touched by time and not too battered. How much you would ultimately like your piece to be aged is something you have to keep in mind all along while you apply the different layers of resist and paint.





Finally, we sealed it. How you do this will, of course, depend on how and where you will display your clock face.



The bonus


Due to its size, a large clock face like this doesn't actually have to hang on the wall. It can quite easily rest on something like a chest of drawers or even on the floor. Alternatively, it can be something more practical like a table top. Not just a pretty face after all!




Happy Painting!

Tania
xxx

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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

FARRAGOZ Patina DECOR Course

Do you want to learn how to design rooms in the patina style? Now we have the perfect online interior design course for you.




As you probably know, FARRAGOZ  is all about authentic looking patina and how to recreate it. Up to now, we have offered patina furniture painting courses, but we have decided to take it to the next level by creating the Patina DECOR Course.





This course consists of 48 "jobs". Every week you will receive access to a new job. Some jobs take 2 weeks. But you don't have to do all the jobs - just the ones you have time for. You can always come back to them later. And there are also interesting exercises to help you learn about colour, light, tone, history and writing.

You can work at your own pace at home and take as long as you like because you get lifetime access and support. 




Each job will take you from the brief, to site plans to layouts to style choices to perspective drawings to a presentation with samples just like you would for a real client. You even have job cards for each job for quotes from real companies. The jobs are varied. You can pretend to be a jet-setting designer doing exciting jobs for interesting clients all over the world. One week you will design a dressing room for a chateau, the next a trade show exhibition stand for an art dealer. Then a window display for a shoe shop.  Head over to this page to see all the different jobs.




You do not need any experience at all. You do not need to know how to draw. You can be 10 years old or 100 years old. We have designed a course that is super easy to follow with lots of training wheels.




We also do not want you to be alone. Therefore, you will be added to a private group on our site where you can chat with other students and upload your progress. It helps to connect with others to stay motivated. The main thing is to do a tiny bit regularly and keep it fun. 






To make it affordable for most people, we offer a 10-month payment plan. So rather than paying $150 up front, you have 10 months to pay it off at $15 each month.






Do you have any questions regarding this course or any of our other courses? We would love to chat with you on our LiveChat in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

Tania
xxx
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Friday, 9 March 2018

FARRAGOZ has a fun Patina PLATES Course

We recently added a new, short, hobby course to our existing FARRAGOZ Patina Online Courses. It is called the FARRAGOZ Patina PLATES Course and is somewhat different to our other courses. 

Here are the answers to some of the questions people have asked about this new course.




What is different about this course? 

Well, it is not a furniture paint course like our other online courses. This is a less serious course and is designed for people who like to have fun with crafts and want to create decor items that have an old-world look, on a shoestring budget.






What will I make in this course?

You will upcycle those ugly cracked plates in the back of your crockery cupboard to create 9 different decorative plates. They look fabulous when hung together as a collection or make wonderful gifts.





Do I need any experience? 

No, not at all! You just need to follow the easy step-by-step instructions and videos on how to decoupage a plate by making your own glue and paint using traditional recipes.






Do I need any specific branded products?

Again, no! My guess is you already have most of the inexpensive materials in your kitchen or workroom.


Do you supply the images to be decoupaged?

Yes, we supply the 9 images for the fronts, the image for the backing plus a label for you to download and print.





Because this is an online course, will I need to sign in at a specific time to get the lessons?

No. You can access the coursework whenever you feel creative and you can work at your own pace.






So, does this mean I'm going to be working in isolation?

Oh, not at all! You will be added to a support group where you will be able to chat with the other students in the group, exchanging ideas and tips.




Would I be able to make multiples to sell in my booth or Etsy shop?

Yes, of course! We would love to see you make an extra income from these. Make and sell as many as you like!








We look forward to seeing you on the group support page soon!


Tania

xxx



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