Contemp Painted Italian Furniture

Working with Tricia Guild and Mark Homewood at Designers Guild on a pioneering contemporary rustic collection changed not only my scope of practice but opened up a whole vista of opportunities for artists and designers.

One off pieces are where my work is at. They have a wealth of stories embedded… the paint reflects the energy of the piece.

By using traditional paint and manipulating the layers much as I do in restoration I made the surface of these pieces reflect their original history an age… yet Tricia wanted of course the colours of the moment: bright pure pigments, vitriol, copper sulfate, ceruleum, and combining this powerful colour palate with a final fine overlay of either watery egg white and chalk, or diluted, talc and damar varnish mix.  The surface became powdery and dry, exactly the chalky feel we wanted on the pastels yet stable.

The final trick was to make the surface feel to the touch absolutely fine and silky – to belie its often craggy ‘driftwood’ appearance… this trick I will keep for another day!

Living in Italy today I am sourcing 17th and 18th century country rustics for restoration and contemporary twists of colour and motif.

The results are spectacular and entirely original.

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Painted cupboard DG Nick Garrett for Designers Guild




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