2011 in Review
Wow! 2011 has been quite a year! At the beginning of the year we finished up a large piece for a private home using the Finch stencil design. At more than 16′ x 16′ this was one of our largest private home projects to date.
After that we sent out our 1st museum piece of the year for the Darnell’s Chance Museum in Maryland. This is the museum’s 3rd floor cloth project that I’ve worked on with them. This one was 9.5′ x 9.5′ and used one of the Carwitham designs to create a really interesting pattern for a reproduction dining room.
In March we worked on a large basic checks piece for Clemson University in South Carolina. They chose a bold green color and a Greek key for the border motif.
One of my favorite customers ordered a basic design with a new-for-me stencil motif for the border. This is called the Jayne House Stencil based on a stencil which I found in an historical stencil book. The Dorset gold background was dragged with the darker gold to give an aged effect. I will definitely be adding this one to my portfolio !
In April we started working on a long hallway runner for the Hunter Dawson Museum in Missouri. They were replacing an existing floorcloth which was in very bad wear and had been made using extremely lightweight canvas. After sending samples of painted canvas in our heavy weight they agreed that a new Canvasworks floorcloth would probably hold up much better. They chose yet another Carwitham design with soft blue marbling. The end result made for quite a striking makeover in this public museum.
I had barely sent out the Hunter Dawson floor cloth when I received word that we got the job for the Allegheny Portage Railroad Museum floorcloth reconstruction project. For this project I had to go to Pennsylvania to measure the long hallway and double dining room before I could determine exact specifications for the floorcloths which would replace those that were made in the 80s and had been mis-measured. Imagine my anxiety as I scratched my head trying to figure out where the last person had gone wrong in their measuring!
We hired another pair of part-time hands and went to work producing a 9.5′ x 40′ hallway floor cloth and two 20′ x 20′ floor cloths which connected in the center of the very large dining room. Somewhere around the middle of July I realized that my shop is not a full 20 feet wide, but 19 1/2 feet wide which made life pretty interesting! By the beginning of August 3 large pieces and all the canvas underlayment was loaded up and sent off to the national historic site. Two days later I arrived to install the whole thing. To my great relief all 3 pieces fit perfectly. The museum staff seemed pretty happy with the results.
When I returned from Pennsylvania we immediately went away on vacation to Prince Edward Island. As we were driving home on August 26 we were hearing warnings about a potential storm heading towards Vermont. On August 28 tropical storm Irene hit Vermont. My home, studio and immediate surroundings were not harmed but the rest of the state did not fare so well. My second home during the summer is the Green Mountain Horse Association in South Woodstock. My daughter and I compete our horses there almost every weekend throughout the summer. About 40 acres of GMHA’s grounds were completely underwater. Equipment was lost, stables were ruined, and when the waters subsided all that was left was mud and debris.The place was devastated. Most of the horse people I know were devastated by the loss. In selfish mode and in an effort to make myself feel better I painted a scene of GMHA as it should be, with horses and trees and sunny skies. I offered the painting to GMHA as a potential way for them to raise some money. The response has been phenomenal. People from all over the country are buying copies of the poster with 100% of the proceeds going to GMHA’s restoration. I send out a great big thank you to everyone who has supported this cause.
In the Summer and fall we worked on some interesting new pieces. I made an acanthus scroll floor cloth for a showhouse right up the road in Windsor , VT, a Celtic knot floorcloth for a home in Massachusetts, a stamped flower with cranberries floorcloth for a home in New Hampshire, a whole series of artichoke-inspired floor cloths for a home in Virginia and a tumbling block runner for a decorator in Tennessee. All in all, we made over 100 customized floorcloths this year!
Right now there are 4 floor cloths on the worktable, 8 out in the gallery waiting to be painted, and a few orders that just came in that we haven’t started.
2012 promises to be a busy year!