New York design powerhouse, Studio E, gets plastered with indulgent gilded panels and genuine Venetian plaster finishes.
Sasha Venetian plaster as used by Patricia Fisher Design.
Venetian plaster has long been the stuff of masterpieces, evoking the ornate churches of famed architect, Andrea Palladio, and the rich patina of Italy’s luxurious palazzos and grand villas. Thousands of years BC, ancient Egyptians used it for its durability, later Romans employed it for the architectural masterpieces so synonymous with their empire and, during the Renaissance, Venetians adorned their interiors, embracing the material’s ability to withstand the damaging effects of water, salt and humidity – concerns so central to modern life in the Caribbean. Today, one innovative New York company has added to its portfolio an exciting new twist on the old classic.
Applying genuine Venetian plaster paper to the walls of some of the planet’s most decadent homes, New York’s Studio E Hand Painted Wallpaper has brought the highly sought-after, “historyrich finish” to the modern world. Employing authentic artisans and application techniques, gone is the need to hire and transport skilled labourers to painstakingly plaster one’s walls. Imported from Italy as a paste made from aged, kiln-fired limestone and the purest of marble dust, the material is seasoned wet for up to a year before processing as a finished plaster. “The material enables us to either spread it on in very thin layers for subtle translucent gradations or to give a smooth polishedstone finish. It can also be made to be very textural with brushes, different types of tools, embossing, imprinting and things of that nature,” comments Denise Vasaya, Marketing and Sales Director at Studio E.
Layering the plaster onto sturdy recycled paper backing on vast 30-footlong tables in its workshop, handmade panels imitate all the grandeur of Venetian plaster or the decorative glamour of metal, yet are ultimately more cost effective, durable and consistent than the originals. Unlike days gone by, working onto paper rather than directly onto surfaces, means that repairs simply require substituting the blemished panel for a fresh piece, compared to re-doing an entire wall of the genuine article, which cannot easily be patched or matched.
Incorporating Studio E’s Sasha, a lightblue shimmery Venetian plaster paper with a smooth finish, into the scheme for a guest-bedroom designer show-house, US interior designer, Patricia Fisher, enthuses, “I always look for something to get the mind working. This wallpaper launched the room. Its tactile quality and powdery finish elicited a response from every single person who walked into the room – they would swoon over it, touch it – it was a very influential part of the design.”
Custom paper for Tiffany & Co. Wall Street Store.
Periodically developing new textured designs and cleverly-named collections to give their clients fresh ideas, including lovely imprints like snakeskin and Queen Anne’s Lace applied to metallic paper, the made-to-order nature of Studio E’s versatile wall coverings means that each request is fully customisable. All plasters are hand tinted and blended, then textured before burnishing and polishing to a satiny sheen. “By adjusting the texture or the colour of the shimmery powder applied to the top of the paper, it becomes a completely different look,” observes Vasaya. “They’re all handmade papers, so each and every one is unique.”
Free of toxic compounds and made on primarily post-consumer recycled poly/cellulose fibre or biodegradable paper, Studio E’s impressive environmental credentials and socially responsible business model, guarantee breathable products that, while inhibiting the growth of mold, are sustainably manufactured in ways that respect artisans and promote fine decorative arts’ traditions, while touching the earth gently. Installed with eco-friendly pastes and deinstalled with just water, water-borne paints, plasters and varnishes limit harmful emissions of volatile organic compounds, creating healthy, environmentally friendly spaces with wow factor to boot.
Issuing in a new era of classic to modern style, Studio E’s simple, atmospheric decorative wall panels possess stunning visual appeal guaranteed to turn any abode into a masterpiece.
Top row from left:
India #2210 Sun, Stella #2571 Dawn Gold, Olivia #2180 Sun
(All from the Metallic Collection)
Middle row from left:
Princess Leia #2451 Silver, Princess Grace #2481 Silver,
Princess Grace #2483 White Gold, Jackie O #2511 Silver
(All from the Metallic Collection)
Bottom row from left:
Edith #5507 Metallic Collection: Custom Color, Stella #2575 Dusk Gold,
Broken Color Collection: Charlotte #5032 Geranium
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