Grace of London – The Art of Bathing

“Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.”
Pablo Picasso

We are lucky to have lots of lovely clients and Robert Grace just happens to be one of them. He is such a positive, inspirational person and totally dedicated to his craft which is why he produces such incredible one off exquisite bath tubs. His story should be an encouragement to all those young people contemplating choosing a career in the craft industries.

A little about the man himself…

The Art of Gilded Baths by Grace of London

Grace of London is a creative designer and manufacturer of unique bespoke furniture specialising in mosaic and gold leaf designs.

Award winning Artist and designer Robert James Grace has turned his attention to highlighting the importance of guiding future artists and designers on a career path where the sky is the limit. His belief, shared by many others is that the creative industries are the driving force that develops and brings wealth into the country. He feels that it is acutely important to guide the next generation of bright imaginative youngsters into the world of craft and that now is the time to show the world that it is possible train and build an army of super skilled artisans who are capable of creating stunning pieces of craftsmanship that will be the envy of the world.

The Art of Gilded Baths by Grace of London

Having started with a city and guilds apprenticeship in ceramic wall and floor tiling some 30 years ago, Robert has travelled the world working for an array of high net worth individuals and landmark properties. After spending many years designing and creating handmade bespoke furniture, predominantly within the area of mosaic finishes, Robert decided to expand his portfolio based around hand gilded glass mosaic pieces and this new direction led to the birth of Grace of London http://www.graceoflondon.com

“My craft has allowed me to work with some of the most talented and creative designers in the world creating beautiful pieces of functional art.”

Typically, each unique bathtub is made from anything up to 15,000 pieces of hand decorated, hand cut glass which is reverse gilded with 24ct gold, 18ct gold, Platinum and decorated with Sworovsky crystals.The Art of Gilded Baths by Grace of London

Over the years, Robert has built up a team of the finest craftsmen in the world that assist in creating these incredible pieces, two of them are Royal Warrant Holders. This group of individuals are all British former apprentices that have started at the bottom and worked their way to the very top. Collectively they have worked for Royal families and Palaces around the world.

One recently completed project that you may have seen in the press was a bespoke 24ct gold bath tub with a “foam” of 250,000 crystals cascading over the sides. It took up to 12 weeks to produce and at a cost of £100,000 it was snapped up by a Middle Eastern client who wishes to remain anonymous. The client commissioned it from interior designer Celia Sawyer  www.celiasawyer.com  who worked closely on the design with Robert Grace and his team.

The Art of Gilded Baths by Grace of London

It is always exciting and refreshing to see what work of art Robert produces next and we wish him all the very best in his creative business. Giving such a lot of his time back to youngsters as an inspirational mentor and having such a passion for his craft he deserves the absolute best.

“My message now is to show the younger generation that choosing a career in the craft industries can lead to becoming a hugely skilled, sought after artisan.”
Robert James Grace, Grace of London

“Sacred”

“Sacred” by the wonderful Kate Alterio is the latest piece to catch our eye! Its originality speaks volumes as not only being a stunning contemporary piece, but also boasting deeply symbolic meanings.

Kate Alterio is a New Zealand-based artist whose journey has led her to explore many different styles and mediums. Kate began with jewellery making, before moving into painting and now more recently has progressed into photography. She views each medium from a different perspective seeing the precision of jewellery, the fluidity of painting and the ability to capture and hold time using photography.

Kate seeks to connect the physical and spiritual worlds through her work bringing the formless into the world of form, and exploring various themes such as diversity, spirituality and human interconnectedness.

There is often a journey Kate explores whilst creating her work, with an overall intention to create a “sense of stillness and potency, that invites viewers to feel a corresponding resonance within themselves”. Kate’s work is held and shown in both private and corporate collections in New Zealand and overseas.

Sacred
Sacred is Kate’s ode to the honey bee. Kate stresses bees are essential to our survival and symbolize unity, renewal, immortality, resurrection, new beginnings and community. We have a lot to learn from these small yet powerful insects.

Historically bees and beehives have been held in high esteem throughout the world. Bees have an incredible work ethic and function in harmony to achieve a common goal. They support not only their colony but also enable the human race to thrive by perpetuating floral growth and pollinating agricultural goods, and by producing honey, bee propolis, royal jelly and wax. Without them the world as we know it would be a very different place. The relationship that bees have with nature is one of benefit and enhancement, a beautiful illustration of unity and working towards the greater good.
Bees are incredible architects and mathematicians. Sacred geometric forms are the basic building blocks of our universe so it’s no surprise that these tiny insects chose a hexagon for the hive. Not only is it a sacred form but the hexagon is also the most efficient shape as it stores the most amount of honey while using the least amount of wax, which indicates the deep intelligence of bees.

Sacred - Kate Alteiro

To create the effect of shading and different dimensions Kate has used a combination of 24ct yellow gold leaf, 23ct red gold leaf, 22ct moon gold leaf and 22.5ct champagne gold leaf. The red gold’s slightly darker and richer tone adds the dimension to the piece while the softer lighter tones of moon and champagne gold create a shading effect.

This piece is incredibly eye catching whilst holding a deep, significant meaning, and we hope Kate continues to create such great pieces in the near future!

“The Aureus”

This week we have a very special project to showcase with all the details and pictures very kindly provided to us by Danni Bradford. Danni has recently collaborated with Ellie Miller, the only professional female surfboard maker in Europe, to create a one-off, limited edition 24 carat gilt surfboard!

Danni and Ellie collaborated to create LUX surfboards in order to explore the gap between art and functionality. As well as gaining admiration for their aesthetic beauty and eye-catching elegance LUX surfboards also gain recognition for their craftsmanship and performance as contemporary wave riding craft.  The board itself was inspired by the iconic single fin shape of the 1970’s. The board named “The Aureus” is the first in a short series of one off limited edition surfboards celebrating a rich surf heritage, so watch this space!

The use of our 24 carat leaf in this board marks a first in surfboard construction techniques. The gold is striking yet elegant giving the board a polished and classy look. The use of gold throughout the construction of Aureus enhances the subtle wave of the fibreglass and imbues the curves of the board with a delicate luminosity. We can’t wait to see the rest of the series. To see more of Ellie’s custom-made boards under her “Miller Surfboards” label then you can visit her website at millersurfboards.co.uk

From the Large to the Little!

AUREUS-BODY-6Danni Bradford is an artist, gilder and surface designer specialising in verre eglomise (the reverse gilding of glass). She produces bespoke decorative and functional pieces from her north Devon studio. You can find out more and view her extensive and impressive range of work at dannibradford.com  We particularly love Danni’s intricate 24 carat gold skeleton leaf. As said by her – one of the smallest pieces she has ever gilded! We’re sure quite a difference from gilding a surfboard.

We love supplying to Danni and enjoy her versatility and individual range. We cant wait to see what she comes up with in the future!

Customer Showcase – Ruth Sadler

Last week we had the absolute delight of receiving this stunning canvas from the very talented Ruth Sadler. After a brief in-office scuffle one person emerged victorious and the canvas is proudly displayed on her wall!

Ruth is one of our much appreciated and creative clients whom we have worked with for some time now. Her style and approach to art is much admired by us here and we love sending her new and exciting materials for her to experiment with! Ruth has worked a lot with our Dutch metal gold leaf and it features in many of her pieces. Its beautiful finish and versatility allows for layered looks with various materials, creating exciting and abstract pieces.

Here are some pieces depicting the great Jimi Hendrix Ruth has created using different metal leaves and gold paint alike to achieve a vintage look. We are also lucky enough to have one of these brightening up our office.

Ruth’s priority in Art is “freedom, freedom to translate emotional value through her brush, not accuracy through measure. By painting like this she finds that she has the freedom that allows the magic to happen, the intrigue to be created and it’s then that the Art introduces itself.”. Ruth’s love of animals (especially horses) presents itself within her work, creating beautiful horses using our gold to give them a very regal finish. The overlapping of the different imitation leaves adds dimension to her piece.

We are excited to see what Ruth will produce next and can’t wait to work alongside her in the future!

To see more of Ruth’s work, visit her webpage at RuthSadler.com or follow her on Facebook.

Just Added – Even More Shades of our Gorgeous Coloured Silver Leaf

Our new range of coloured silver leaf is now available on our website. From standard to light resistant, marbled to oxidised, the colours and styles suit many different types of work. The above bowls were created by Lenore Zavitz of Moth and Mirror and showcase the stunning and vibrant colours of the leaf. Lenore’s aim is to team the organic material, representing the moth with the contrasting sharp jewel-like effect of the coloured leaf, representing the mirror.

The process of creating pure coloured silver leaf involves taking pure silver leaf and then dying and coating it with a plastic resin on both sides to create a vibrant leaf with the brightness of silver in a myriad of gorgeous, jewel-like colours. Coloured silver leaf is most often used in artistic applications; it can be used in paintings or other artworks, for wall coverings and is especially popular due to its eye catching finish in glass gilding.

Emma Peascod demonstrates the use of coloured silver leaf in glass gilding with this beautiful piece from her “Skin and Stones” Verre Eglomise Collection.

The standard size is 109 millimetres with a thickness ranging from 0.5 to 3 microns. It can be found for purchase on our website here in a very wide range of colours and finishes.

Below are some artworks created by clients illustrating the variations of application for this product range. It is a fairly experimental product and although traditionally used for the decoration of Kimonos in Japan, artists and designers are pushing the boundaries and finding lots of interesting applications.

Alexandra Spyratos draws inspiration from her background and incorporates coloured silver into her African wildlife inspired pieces resulting in beautiful bold pieces. Her dynamic combination of fluorescent materials and coloured leaf adds dimension to her pieces.

Coloured silver leaf is versatile and can be used across many mediums.

Black oxidised leaf used in interior decorating.

Using coloured silver leaf in Kimonos has stretched back years and years and is an integral part in the traditional process.

And last but not least….Sarah Scotchman’s beautiful collection featuring our coloured silver leaf.

Although we’ve previously done a separate blog detailing Sarah’s work we love her work so much we couldn’t leave her out. Sarah’s collection uses the coloured silver leaf to highlight the elegance of the female form, and was recently featured in the Turner Barnes Gallery Exhibition.

Titian Studios

Titian Studios in London are one of Europe’s premier studios / workshops for high-end restoration and conservation. Their talented team has a varied skill base capable of undertaking a wide variety of projects, whether residential or commercial. The Company was founded in 1963 and Rodrigo Titian was taught the trade by his father. They run a thriving workshop and Rod and his wife Rosario have passed their knowledge on to many artisans and restorers who have done apprenticeships under their expert guidance and have since gone on to develop their own workshops.

It pleases us to say that we have supplied Titian Studios with gold leaf and gilding materials for many years and have become good friends with Rod and his team. Due to the company’s extensive skill base and “ never say never” attitude, the projects we have worked with them on have been as varied as is possible.

interiors_guru-nanak-dome-02

We supplied leaf for the re-gild of the Royal Albert Memorial, the Dome of the Guru-Nanak temple in London, the gilding of various interior hotel projects including the Dorchester and the Sheraton Hotels, London. Also, we have supplied leaf for a variety of high-end residential projects using many different metals, Caplain, Palladium, Platinum, and Champagne gold leaf.

An interesting, but unusual, project that we supplied leaf for was a commission for gilded shoes and accessories. These were to be shown to an audience of worldwide fashion icons at a fashion show during London Fashion Week. Despite the strange nature of the request the talented team of gilders at Titian was not fazed and yet again they produced some lovely gilding work… oh to own a pair of those shoes!

To see more of Titian’s work, please visit their website – www.titianstudios.co.uk

Gilded Globe – Larvik, Norway

We supplied all the gold leaf used to gild this impressive multi-faceted globe which is now suspended in the Thor Heyerdahl Institute in Larvik, Norway. Thor Heyerdahl is a famous explorer and writer who led the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, a journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian Islands. The Institute was set up to reflect his visions.

The Globe is described as a spherical LED “globe” and visualisation platform for live global information connected to climate change and migration.

Each sphere is gilded with a variety of colours of gold leaf including 23.5 ct., 22 ct. Moon Gold, 23 ct. Red Gold, 23 ct. Russian Gold, 20 ct. Citron Gold, 16 ct. and 12 ct. White Gold. The combination of colours adds to the effect of glistening light and shade and the effect is something to behold.

The project was the brainchild of Lise Autogena and Josh Portway from autogena projects, both renowned artists based in the UK. 

Gareth Evans, owner of Watergilders and an experienced gilder, went out to Norway with Autogena Projects to lend a hand and consult with the gilding side of the project.

Customer Showcase – DKT Artworks and Eoin Turner Glass at The London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show

In case you missed it, last April London was host to The London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show – the premier showcase of luxury travel, living and the finer things in life. Showing at the exhibition hall this year was DKT Artworks and Eoin Turner Glass, both long-time and valued customers of ours and ones who we’ve featured before in this blog!

DKT Artworks are specialists when it comes to high-end interior decorative effects and with their team of talented artists, designers and craftspeople they can manage a project from design, to production and right the way through to installation. Their work has been a feature of quite a few luxury yachts over the years, plenty of top-of-the-line yachts now feature bespoke artworks created by DKT Artworks! Click here to see the list of ships DKT Artworks have worked on!

While this showcase has largely been about DKT’s marine work there’s much more to them, check out their site here to find out more about the vast range of decorative effects DKT Artwork’s artisans are capable of as well as pictures of their completed work a list of prestigious clients.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Eoin Turner’s exquisite glass artwork then you can visit his site here.

A Gorgeous, Gilded Wedding Cake by ‘Caked by Sophie’

 

This elegant, refined wedding cake was created by Sophie of ‘Caked by Sophie’ and finished with edible, genuine gold gilding. Alongside traditional cakes Sophie also makes some truly stunning replica cakes of pretty much anything imaginable. Check out her Facebook page for more pictures of fantastic looking cakes and sugarcraft creations.

But gold needn’t be just for cakes. In fact with Christmas coming up you might consider adding a little flair to your festive meals and decorations with some genuine edible gold or silver leaf. Below are just a few ideas of what to do with edible gold and silver leaf, check out more in our edible gold and silver leaf inspiration section.

Click here to visit our edible gold and silver leaf section on our website.

Deco Noir’s Art Deco-Inspired Bar – A Stylish Use of Gold Leaf (As Seen In Vogue Magazine!)

The opulence and luxury of the Roaring Twenties lives in in this Art Deco-inspired, vintage themed bar – we supplied the leaf for the gilded ceiling which is something of a hallmark of this style, with it’s incorporation of bright, vivid colour and metallic surfaces and the rest of the fittings themselves are period-inspired. But the most surprising, most standout thing about this bar is the fact that it’s on wheels!

The entire bar has been built inside the body of a restored, vintage Airstream Whale-Tail trailer made in 1958 and is the brainchild of Samantha, Deco Noir’s MD. Lola, as she’s come to be known, was born of her passion for both jazz and interior design and harkens back to the roots of jazz in a simpler, more fun time.

Lola is available for hire for your events and brings a memorable splash of 1920’s hedonism to any party, wedding reception or event. For more details on how to hire Lola please contact Deco Noir at contact@deconoirevents.com or check out their website at www.deconoirevents.com!