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Decorative Artist of the Month Terry Gavigan - Decorative Artisan of the Month
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Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes
504 East St. Charles Rd,
Carol Stream, IL 60188
Toll Free: 800-797-4305
Phone: 630-653-2400
FAX: 630-653-4671


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Decortive Artist School Decorative Arts marbling and graining techniques

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26th Annual Convention & Exposition is Almost Here!

Surround yourself with master artisans, soak up lectures, and delve into hands-on-classes.  Learn the latest techniques and pack your portfolio full with the hottest trends and incredible new samples destined to lure the most discriminating clients!  Be a part of the 26th Annual International Decorative Artisans League Convention and Expo, July 20th – 24th in the beautiful historic city of Hampton, VA.  Visit decorativeartisans.org  to check out the outstanding list of 36 workshops taught by master artisans from around the world! 

Carolyn Blahosky, Education Board Liaison at IDAL, comments about the extensive classes available at convention.  “We have a fabulous lineup this year.  A broad range of skills including stenciling, faux finishing, murals, trompe l'oeil, woodgraining, and much more will be taught.  Kathy Carroll’s wall finishes class will feature dazzling foils along with other great products to achieve impressive effects quickly and easily that will make money.  There are a number of European masters joining us such as Natali Hallberg, from Sweden.  She will share her skills in color, detail, light and shadows, which she applies to both classical ornamentation and portraiture.  Natali’s techniques will aid in completing projects quickly, which in turn will boost profit margin.  Mats Carlsson, also from Sweden, is teaching a class on realistic techniques including faux wood graining and trompe l'oeil images of a book and a foamy glass of beer. Your eyes won’t believe it!  Jean Sable, who won the Best Craftsman in France Gold Medal Competition in 2000, will be teaching 18th Century Chinese Painting as well as an Italian marble class. Fellow countryman, Pascal Amblard, is teaching his techniques in French landscape paintingIn addition, Pascal, along with William Cochran and many other masters, will be in the expo working on art productions throughout the exhibition hall. We have great people on hand this year!”

For those who are not yet IDAL members, there is no time like the present to join.  Four levels of membership are available with benefits to suit your needs:  Student, Individual, Professional and Business. The many advantages of becoming a member include:

  • Joining a local chapter.  IDAL chapters have mini classes as well as chapter meetings and provide fellowship with like-minded artisans. 
  • Full access to all of the great content in the industry’s leading online magazine, Artisphere, featuring articles by leaders in the business, along with new techniques, how-to’s and product info.
  • Special pricing for advertising in the newsletter and the online magazine Artisphere
  • Great rates on health and liability insurance for qualifying members.
  • Discounts at Office Depot
  • Unprecedented discounts at Sherwin Williams.
  • Networking opportunities and resource guide listings.

Now is the time to register!  The IDAL Convention and Expo is the place to be.  Come join fellow artisans for a fabulous time of learning, sharing techniques, building your portfolio and networking.  We look forward to a wonderful time with you!

A Haven of Headboards

As seen on HGTV’s homepage, headboards do not need to be your run of the mill standard headboard.  What is it that your client is looking to achieve?  What are the colors that bring them comfort?  Make the bedroom a haven and turn it into a true work of art. 

As a focal point, headboards add beauty and character to a bedroom.  Headboards can set the tone for the rest of the décor to follow.

There are many artistic avenues to explore.  For an island retreat with a bedroom lending to high ceilings, attach Grecian columns extending up to connect to a stunning arch.  Accentuate the columns and arch by adding a flowing fabric in deep blues and patterns adherent to the era cascading down from the arch.  Stencil along the arch, giving the focal point to the room the perfect touch.  For a different look, plaster a raised section behind the bed and fresco a beautiful mural.  Stencils can be used in a vast array of techniques.  Stencil a sports motif or turn a plain padded headboard into a tranquil work of art in a glistening array of color. 

Here are a few ideas to build off of for unique headboards:

  • Hand carved screens
  • Blinds
  • Cleverly painted or stenciled pallets, shutters or a fence
  • Trellis
  • Book shelf or shelf with wood stain, decorative paint, stencils or color wash
  • Rustic barn door
  • Old windows or stain glass windows
  • Hand carved screen

Decorative painting and stencils allows artisans to turn an ordinary piece of furniture or wall behind a bed into something extraordinary.  A touch of elegance, a whimsical design, color washing, tone-on-tone, faux finish, decorative painting, anything is possible to achieve the creative focal masterpiece that makes the bedroom come alive.  Most people only sleep in their rooms; turn your client’s room into a retreat beginning with their headboard.

Quick Inspirations

June's Sample Pack
Keep your portfolio up to date with high quality boards sent right to your door each month!  Each Quick Inspirations sample pack includes a 9 x 10 sample with a recipe for the finish as well as three 3 x 3 color waves.  What an amazing addition to your portfolio without the demands on your time!

Try our sample pack for only $27.50.  For the most cost effective savings order a 12 month supply at only $260 and receive a new Quick Inspirations sample pack delivered to your door each month.  Call now, we look forward to hearing from you!

Click Here to purchase Quick Inspirations sample pack >

Our Clients Speak

faux by kathy copper paste client speaks
faux by kathy copper paste with bronze color wash 3x3 stencil client speaks

Thanks for your help I took your advice and did my own thing copper paste with a bronze color wash 3'x 3' stencil!  This ceiling looks fantastic!

Alexandra with artwalls


Would You Like to Be Artisan of the Month?Faux By Kathy Decorative Artisan of the Month

Have you ever wanted to be featured as an Artisan of the Month on our website?  Now’s your chance!  All you have to do to be considered is contact our office.  If you are selected, you will need to be available for a 30 to 45 minute phone interview and provide us with at least 10 pictures of your work, and a picture of yourself to be featured with your article. 

The increased visibility alone is worth it!  What have you got to lose?  Contact us today!

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