Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Discovering a Patina Gem in Tbilisi - Surb Nshan


In my quest to photograph the rich patina left by the passage of time on the historic buildings of this part of the city, I wandered through the narrow cobbled backstreets of Old Tbilisi. No Google maps, no travel guides, no itinerary. Only comfortable shoes, a bottle of water, a camera and an insatiable appetite to find the most exquisite examples of authentic patina on walls, doors and other architectural details.





It was while photographing a rusty balcony, that I first got a glimpse of it. The state of the roof tiles alone was a magnet strong enough. All thoughts of getting a good shot of the balcony disappeared. I had to get closer.





This is how I stumbled upon this outstanding gem, tucked away between the weathered old houses, tightly crammed together.





Oblivious to the history of this old church and even its name, I was completely mesmerised by the sheer beauty of the patina it possessed. The patterns and texture which the old exposed bricks created. The decaying details of the sculpted decorations which were emphasized by the dust of years gone by that had settled in the cracks and hollows. The cracking and crumbling plaster. The fading and peeling of the original paint. It was patina heaven!





This sight in front of me was completely captivating. Nothing else mattered and right then there was no other place in the world I'd rather be. I just wanted to absorb every little detail of this abandoned, decaying beauty.





From its dilapidated state, it was clear that it had not been in use for quite some time. Weeds and even young trees were sprouting from the cracks in the walls. Some had even matured. Nature had taken its course here.





Locked and barricaded, it was impossible to even get a glimpse of the interior, which, judging by the magnificent details of the exterior, must have been splendid in its beauty at some point. I had to be satisfied with what I could see from the outside. The rest was out of bounds and this, of course, left me very curious.





Only later did I learn that this is an Armenian Apostolic Church, built between 1703 and 1711, and then reconstructed in 1780. It is called the Surb Nshan Church of the Holy Seal.

It seems that it has not functioned as a place of worship for about a century now. During the Soviet era, it was utilised for several other purposes. During World War II it was used as a warehouse and later as a book depository for the National Library. Since then, a fire has partially destroyed it. No repairs and additional neglect due to some kind of dispute between the Georgian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church regarding the history of the original site, has sadly resulted in it to be in this derelict state.





What its fate is, I don't know. It's heartbreaking to think that something as splendid as this and with such great historic value may not survive due to politics or religious differences. I'm simply grateful for the opportunity of a face to face encounter to compliment it on its immense beauty.





I never did get a decent shot of that balcony but it really didn't matter. I found something so much better!




Tania
XXX
#patina #paint #church #religious #distressedpaint #howtopaint #howtomake #onlinecourse #paintingcourse #paintcourse #paintlessons #homemadepaint #paintrecipe  #traditionalpaint #caseinpaint #painted #wornpaint #oldpaint #oldworld  #vintagestyle #antiquestyle #oldicon #scuffed #scuffedpaint #faded #fadedpaint #learnhow #learnonline #onlinelessons #onlinepainting #onlinetutorials #paintfurniture #paintedfurniture #vintagedecor #homedecor #diy #paintlikeapro #agedpaint #furniturepaint #furniturefinishes #farragoz #paintfinishes #fauxfinishes #chippedpaint #paintedwood #holyplace #Tbilisi #Surb #Nshan #Armenian #Apostolic #ruin #abandoned #historic #architecture #oldchurch #Dzveli #OldTbilisi #Georgia #Sakartvelo #brick #history #preservation

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
#patina #paint #icon #religiousicon #distressedpaint #howtopaint #howtomake #onlinecourse #paintingcourse #paintcourse #paintlessons #homemadepaint #paintrecipe #handmade #crafts #craftlessons #traditionalpaint #caseinpaint #painted #wornpaint #oldpaint #oldworld #vintagelook #vintagestyle #antiquestyle #oldicon #scuffed #scuffedpaint #faded #fadedpaint #learnhow #learnonline #onlinelessons #onlinepainting #onlinetutorials #paintfurniture #paintedfurniture #vintagedecor #homedecor #diy #paintlikeapro #agedpaint #furniturepaint #furniturefinishes #farragoz #paintfinishes #fauxfinishes #chippedpaint #paintedwood

This post was shared with:

Grace at Home
Friday Feature
DIY Salvaged Junk Projects
Really Crafty Linky Party
Inspire Me Monday
Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party
Dishing It & Digging It
DIY ShowOff & Share
Saturday Sparks
Sunday Features
Made by You Monday




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

#patina #paint #clock #clockface #distressedpaint #howtopaint #howtomake #onlinecourse #paintingcourse #paintcourse #paintlessons #homemadepaint #paintrecipe #handmade #crafts #craftlessons #traditionalpaint #caseinpaint #painted #wornpaint #oldpaint #oldworld #vintagelook #vintagestyle #antiquestyle #oldclock #largeclock #clockdesign #scuffed #scuffedpaint #faded #fadedpaint #learnhow #learnonline #onlinelessons #onlinepainting #onlinetutorials #farragoz #paintfurniture #paintedfurniture #vintagedecor #homedecor #diy #paintlikeapro #agedpaint #clockfacetable #romannumerals #paintednumbers #grey

This post was shared with:

Friday Feature
Saturday Sparks
Handmade Hangout
DIY ShowOff & Share
Really Crafty Linky Party
Dishing It & Digging It
DIY Salvaged Junk Projects
Happiness Is Homemade
Inspire Me Tuesday
Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party
Inspire Me Monday
Project Inspire{d}
Tuesdays At Our Home
Talk of the Town
Waste Not Wednesday
Dream.Create.Inspire.Link
Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop
Inspiration Monday
My Pinterventures
Let It Shine
Made by You Monday  
Creative Muster
Handmade Hangout
Grace at Home
Raising Memories
Scraptastic Saturdays
Sundays at Home
Sunday Features