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!


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Tuesday, 30 October 2018


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.

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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!



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Sunday, 31 December 2017

FARRAGOZ Student of 2017

We have never chosen a student of the year before. I do not like the idea of saying one person's work is better than that of another. We do not have classes and exams like in normal schools. Learning anything online is very difficult. You need an extraordinary amount of motivation just to keep going.

Our mission is to do everything we can to make sure every student gets enough from our courses to change their lives. But often what we do is not enough.

A few days ago I read through the British New Year Honours list for 2018. In case you do not know, the British parliament recognises successful people in different fields for their contribution and the Queen bestows titles on them. In short, it is the making of knights and dames.  I read that in a lot of cases, they were not only honoured for their achievements, but for their efforts to change the lives of others such as through charity work and educational programs. One such person is the first Briton in space, Helen Sharman, who joins the Order of St Michael and St George, for her long-standing commitment to educational outreach in science and technology.

So I thought to myself, which FARRAGOZ student in 2017 stands out as doing not only exceptional work but also gave back to others.

Our student of the year is without hesitation Moacyr Santizo. Moacyr enrolled in the Patina FINISHES Course only 4 months ago and is a very talented painter. He works hard and produces a lot of his own work. He never hesitates to try new techniques and recipes. But that is only half the story because a lot of students do that. We see the work they produce in their shops.

What makes Moacyr different is his dedication to help others in his group. When he paints samples or furniture, he shares in his group, an extremely detailed analysis of the techniques including what he found difficult, his workaround, whether he was satisfied with the result or not and what he would do differently in the future.

He is always first to welcome new members to the group and always gives excellent feedback on their questions. This takes time and effort from him and we appreciate it.

So, Moacyr, congratulations on being our student of the year!

To all our other students producing beautiful patina throughout this year, well done, thank you for sharing your magnificent work with us and keep it up.

To those students who had life happening to them in 2017 and could not produce those patinas they dreamed of, drop me a line and let's give it another go in 2018.

To everybody, thanks for your loyal support throughout the year. We would like to wish you all a healthy, happy and successful 2018!



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Friday, 22 December 2017

Beach Themed Christmas

Living with your toes in the ocean makes a beach themed Christmas the obvious choice.

The wreath on the front door was actually the Christmas table centrepiece two years ago. I am surprised it lasted this long!

I suspended several decorations in this colour scheme from the chandelier in our stairwell using vintage velvet and silk ribbons.

This is a very common dune plant that is green in winter and dries out in summer. The birds feed on their seeds for months.

The paper nautilus, periwinkle and tiny abalone shells are from the beach.

I love these old star decorations my aunt bought in France many years ago.

The pewter tureen is a Paris flea market find.

We bought the gold trimmed white crockery over twenty years ago when I decorated my aunt's flat in Paris. The two of us had such great fun running around the city and dragging almost everything two flights up the narrow staircase. When she recently gave up the flat, she shipped the crockery to me knowing how much I loved it and what sweet memories it would hold.

The vintage glass baubles are all flea market and charity shop finds. The sea star, which I found at a shell shop is one of the very few nature items I have ever bought. Somehow finding objects in nature for your collections is much more satisfying than buying them from a shop.

The white shells, arranged back-to-back, were quite worn so I could easily string the vintage ribbon through them to make this wreath. 

From all of us at FARRAGOZ, we would just like to thank you for all your support and friendship and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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