Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Am Curious

Here's a little side project I am thinking about. I have this wonderful vintage Baker credenza. It's done up in this crazy 1970's style interpretation of "grand Italian".

Visual Vamp DIY project - should I decoupage these Fornasetti images on the credenza?

I have over painted the original avocado green and yellow paint, and did a decoupage of suns with faces on the doors to give it a faint feeling of the Fornasetti print on top of the credenza.

The original Fornasetti style suns on the front of the credenza

Fornasetti plates that inspire me

I'm curious to know what you think of me getting rid of the suns, and actually applying the paper "plates" of actual Fornasetti images I made on the copy machine to affix to the front of the credenza. My other inspiration comes from cabinets of curiosities.

I'd like to share some terrific images of cabinets and curiosities:

Illustration from the book, Wondertooneel der Nature
A Cabinet of Curiosities or Wunderkammern in Holland
Date 1706-1715

French Secretaire a Abattant - Circa 1775
Decorated with marquetry scenes after the engravings of Andre-Jacob Roubo

Cabinet of Curiosities - 1690s - Oil on canvas Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence

Cabinet with painted decoration by Fabrizio Clerici - Milan circa 1950s

Painted Serpentine Fronted Credenza
Italian - Possibly 18th Century

Cabinet of Curiosities of Bonnier de la Mosson
Housed at the Bibliotèque centrale du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris

Modern day artist Piero Fornasetti had his own version of a cabinet of curiosities.

Fornasetti version of a cabinet of curiosities.

I used to have a nasty little Fornasetti habit. I couldn't afford to collect big things, so I had about 100 coasters, a couple of dozen little boxes and trays and paperweights and smalls. I've sold them all because frankly I had no need for them, or room to display them. But I still love the images, especially the Theme and Variations plates - those are the images I want to put on my credenza.

The most recurrent Fornasetti themes are the sun, playing cards, harlequins, hands, and self-portraits. The most famous is the one that Fornasetti himself called "Theme and Variations" representing the enigmatic face of a woman. He found it glancing through a French magazine from the 19th century. Her name was Lina Cavalieri. Perhaps he chose this face for its archetypal, classic female features. Like a Greek statue and enigmatic like the Mona Lisa, she was perfect to be the muse of Fornasetti.

At the beginning there were only six white plates decorated with black and white designs representing a female face. Then this series increased during the years until it reached 350 different variations on the theme of classical beauty.

So, should I get out the Modge Podge?

The terrific images of the cabinets and curiosities came from HERE

I suggest you take some time to go to the link as there are many more rare and wonderful images to look at.

Also if you have time go to 1st Dibs to check out some of the great Fornasetti things their dealers have. eBay also has a treasure trove awaiting.

The Fornasetti photos come from Google Images.


pve design said...

Flattered you ask.
YES, a big fat yes!

vicki archer said...

Yes, yes, yes...BTW That new picture of you on the top right hand side is sensational Valorie, xv.

La Petite Gallery said...

Great photo of you, went back for second look.
I like the Serpentine credenza
I have a small one, not serpentine and it has panels. Maybe I'll paint the inserts.. Great Idea, thanks

Anonymous said...

Yes, get out the modge podge if you want the "I shop at Michaels" look.

carla fox said...

Love your new photo! As to the credenza: Are those the size you plan on using? They seem too big. Maybe if they were smaller and centered on the panel....I'm thinking it's a "no", but I seem to be in the minority.

Anonymous said...

No! While I think it would look great, there is really too much going on with the TV, lamp, etc, that it becomes too distracting. It would work in a sparce loft like space where you could really focus on the piece. MHO. SusanT

Anonymous said...

It's kind of an irresistible project, isn't it! I would paint the credenza white and reduce the size of the faces (closer to the size of the sun faces you have on there now).

Anonymous said...

p.s. Great profile photo!

Ms Smart said...

I'm gonna say no, sorry.

Mélanie said...

I love your project. I will paint some part in black . I'm a big fan of Fornasetti ( I don't know if you had read some posts I wrote )
and a fan of "cabinet of curiosities" !!
I wish soon I could go to Milano to visit Fornasetti's home

Jan said...

I feel like a dummy but I don't know what modge podge is !
Is it permanent ?
I'm thinking you could always change it if you don't like the effect.

Kwana said...

I say yes if this speaks to you. So visually striking. Love your new pic. Very pretty.

thelennoxx said...

Yes! I love this idea! Very creative indeed. I have never seen anything like it, you should definitely go for it in my opinion =D

Visual Vamp said...

via e-mail:

Love your project w/the credenza... made me think of some interesting pieces with fabric used on the credenza. Have been trying to think of how she did it. Modge Podge on fabric?? By the way what's up with Anon -- can't stand the negative comments.

Love your blog.


Visual Vamp said...

Modge Podge is a white glue product used for decoupage.

xo xo

Irene said...

your projects always seem to work out beautifully, go for it.

Ms. Bright said...

What an irresistable project! I adore the "Cabinet" and really want to buy a spare copy to frame some of those fab prints. They're fascinating!

On a side note, Ms. Patricia of pve asked that I share my latest post with you. I understand why, I think...New Orleans.
here is the link to my blog, I'd love for you to check it out!

Linz said...

WOW, those designs on the cabinet are unique and wonderful!

Margaret said...

If you even think you want to try it just do it. Projects like this usually take 'U' turns anyway and that's the fun part. And Modge Podge is totally forgiving in the morning!

Anna said...

Valorie..I would say ..go for it...I think it will look fab...I also think a washed out grey would look good in place of the green? what do you think? x

Debra said...

YES-YES-YES! And please show us!
Anon-did your Mother never teach you..."If you can't say anything nice..."- Oh never mind!

Christine said...

You're giving me inspiration for one of my cabinets! I might have to go modge podge on it!