I want to share with you a very fun class I took in Time Aged Finishes at The Southern Institute of Faux Finishing, http://www.fauxfinishbiz.com/, in Brandon, MS the first of July. It was about a 3.5 hour drive south of the Memphis International Airport through the very green landscape of rural America. Brandon is near Jackson. This was my first class in faux finishing although I've experimented and tested some products and attended demos in the past, some were failures, some with okay results. I won't mention my Venetian Plaster episode.
Over the past few years I have painted quite a few furniture pieces; a queen Baker bed, Karges console, John Widdicomb desk and chests, Henredon table desk and chest, etc. I will do a post and show you before and after of those sometime. Generally, I purchased French pieces made by these makers on eBay because of the quality of manufacture. Karges and Widdicomb are just tops for quality. If I am going to put my time in on redoing a piece of furniture, I want to start out with something that needs updating but is not junk but is not a priceless antique on the other hand. These pieces were built to last. I've gone through my phase of re-dos of older pieces and am now only painting new ones. So, I attended this class to learn more about painting new furniture with an aged patina.
I am always a little unsure about signing up for classes with a concern for disappointment in the instruction. Believe me, I was not disappointed!! If you have any hesitation about the kind of instruction you will receive at the Southern Institute, don't hesitate! I would say I have high expectations when it comes to paying for instruction and my expectations were exceeded. I could not have been more pleased with the entire experience and I highly recommend this Institute for the quality of instruction and the overall experience. In this class we did six different aged finishes on six-inch moulding boards. The paints used were Faux Effects International silver line which are sold at the Institute.
Of course, you would expect the walls of a faux studio to be painted. Here are some of the hallways and walls.
On the back wall of the studio were samples of kitchen and bath cabinet doors and furniture finishes which are covered in another class.
Hard to choose when there are so many fabulous options. I also liked the mercury glass one which is second from the left on the top row. Here is a close-up of the one I liked with the gold in it. Virginia said she designed a special tool to do this finish.
Here are a few samples I pulled out of the pile that attracted my attention.
I just loved this. Even though I love a white or neutral Swedish room, these blue-green pieces just steal my heart.
Here are a couple of the paintings on the studio walls over the prep sinks.
Virginia told us about a sale on fireplace over-mantles at Lakeland Moulding near Flowood, MS like the one she has here. I went over and purchased one a little smaller than this. Now to decide what color to paint it and take a class in antiquing mirror glass.
There are many classes taught at the Southern Institute by Virginia Weathersby each month. I signed up to return for a class in August. The first thing I noticed was how strikingly beautiful Virginia is in person. Move over Gwyneth! And, more, she was lovely, extremely knowledgeable, very experienced in her trade, has a great artistic ability, a wonderful teacher who is willing to share her talent including all tips and tricks and trade secrets. Her mother was there helping as well as her assistant, Candela. The studio can seat probably 20 students, but we were lucky in that we had a small group so received nearly private instruction.
When I showed my husband the photos, he said, "Looks like all you did is eat!" Can you believe that Virginia made a fresh Tomato Pie and Giant Stuffed Mushrooms for us for afternoon break! The Tomato Pie was fabulous, and she was kind enough to give us the recipe. Remember, a tomato is a fruit. Oh, this was sooooo good.
It was a very fun experience and I look forward to my next class.
All the best to you, Summer.