My Inspiration On my 7th birthday, I opened a box to discover a lovely doll with an entire handmade wardrobe of clothes, including hats and shoes (all of which I still have). I will never forget my joy at receiving this precious treasure that was the handiwork of my grandmother and aunts. In the first half of the 20thCentury, before the advent of all of our modern distractions, my grandmother and my two aunts filled their days with craftsmanship. From carefully painted paper dolls to handmade quilts, dolls, lace and embroidery, these amazingly creative women spent their lives creating and making their world a more beautiful place. They taught me the value of creating art by hand and demonstrated the art of patience.
The Art of Decoupage on Glass I have traveled all over the world in search of just the right images for my work. I then either paint, apply gilding or use carefully selected handmade papers that I've also collected from around the globe to serve as the background.
My awe for the women in my family and countless other artists and artisans who have come before me inspired me to launch my own creative journey. My love of the arts eventually took me to Italy where I studied Renaissance art and architecture in Florence and then to New York where I make my home today. I have returned to Italy several times to continue my studies and to learn the craft of traditional mosaics and the technique of decoupage on glass, which is my current primary focus.
Although there are many variations of decoupage, I am particularly inspired by the traditional techniques perfected over the centuries. In our increasingly distracted and hectic lives, I celebrate the moments when we take the time to savor and contemplate beauty. I find it grounding and satisfying to behold something that has taken time, thought and dedication – it helps me remember that we are not alone and we all belong to a continuum of long-held beliefs and tradition.
Traditional decoupage requires completing each piece with 25 to 35 layers of varnish -- one layer per day -- which is then sanded to a polished finish. Each piece can take about five to six weeks to complete. True, there are many modern techniques that would not require this level of detail, but I find the traditional methods inspiring and believe that perfecting each step evokes a magical sense of enduring beauty that can only be produced by an investment of time and passion.