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Decorative Artist of the Month Gracie Reed - 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

Decortive Artist School Decorative Arts marbling and graining techniques

Crown Molding Stencil
crown molding stencil

From Crown Molding to Custom Stencils

“A client came in with a piece of crown molding and wanted a stencil made to match.”  Kathy Carroll explains how the process of their custom stencils began.  “Tom Bobko cut the stencil to custom match.  He has the ability to make anything into a stencil or vinyl stencil.  Tom Bobko of Bobko Dzign, Inc. further expands about what he requires in order to create the stencils.  “A lot of times people have an idea of what they are looking for in a sketch or a design.   I take it and convert it to a workable file.  Once I convert the file I can convert it into a vinyl or a stencil.  All I need is a sketch, a photo, or a piece of patterned fabric.”  For your convenience, the stencils are available in different thicknesses.  There is also a choice with the vinyl masking, high-tac or low tac.  The design possibilities are truly endless.

Imagine being able to have custom stencils created for your clients from any pattern they desire.  Whether the custom stencil created is as simple as a design from throw pillows from their couches to further complete the flow of the room or more complex such as the intricate design of an antique fireplace mantle.  Or maybe it could be a whimsical stencil created for a client child’s room taken off a quilt passed down through the family.  The design possibilities are astounding.  Call or email your pictures, drawings or photographs to Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes and begin to amaze your clients with custom stencils and vinyl stencils today!

The Stunning Effects of Etched Glass

Etched Glass
Etched glass

Elegance and sophistication are conveyed through the timeless beauty of etched glass.  From its simple beginnings of scratched gold-leaf in the 15th Century AD, etched glass has steadily grown throughout time.  Flowing through history it has evolved through the various techniques of diamond-point engraving, copper wheeled engraving, acid etching, sand blasting as well as utilizing a large rotating stone wheel to cut glass.  Acid etching, with the ability of producing intricate patterns, is extremely hazardous with the types of acids used.  With this in mind, many people have preferred abrasive methods such as sand blasting.  However, all these methods are time consuming.

When a client wants a custom patio door transformed from ordinary to stunning in etched glass the task can be daunting knowing the process and amount of time that lies ahead.  The end results often far out way the laborious task.  Recently Kathy Carroll had an encounter with her landlord regarding her front door at Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes.  “He stopped by and was very upset that I had etched the glass in the front door.  I had to explain several times that it was not etched glass; it was a vinyl decal that looks exactly like etched glass.”  Kathy and her stencil designer Tom Bobko have come up with vinyl decals that look exactly like etched glass.  Kathy further explains.  “They are very easy to apply and will create a pattern just like etched glass would.  We carry them under the Bellissimo line.  Or you can bring or email in a photograph or drawing for a custom vinyl decal.”

Tom Bobko of Bobko Dzign, Inc. elaborates further, “The etched glass vinyl is available in gold or silver and gives the impression of etched or sandblasted glass.  The frosted glass vinyl is available in gold, silver, pink, mint or blue and has more sparkle and shimmer than the etched glass vinyl.  The vinyl decals are created directly from a pictures or drawing.  The decals have a permanent adhesive on them and are made to withstand the elements.  We are also experimenting with other translucent vinyls.”

Glass etching brings to mind a timeless beauty, a sense of luxury and a gorgeous translucence.  Having the ability to utilize a unique pattern already in a client’s home to adorn a coffee table, mirror, patio doors or side windows in etched glass with these vinyl decals is a truly amazing idea.  Not to mention the ease of application and unlimited possibilities that is offered through the ability of custom designs.  Browse the Bellissimo Vinyl Stencils today or send us an email with a photograph or drawing so that we can create a custom design to amaze your clients with the seamless quality of vinyl decals that look exactly like etched glass!


IDAL logoInspirations with Sizzle at IDAL 2011 Convention and Expo

Come join Kathy Carroll and create 12 new exiting 16”X20” samples with inspirations that sizzle!  Astound your clients with the beauty, sensuality and truly unique high quality samples to update your portfolio that will be created in this 1.5 day workshop.

Trowel to your heart’s content with variations that render your clients and designers alike speechless with the exotic artistic new designs.  Delve into the vast array of new designs, bold new patterns along with new colors that have been forecasted for 2012-2013 to whet your appetite and will transcend your expectations. 
This class focuses on perfecting techniques to maximize your profit margins while padding your portfolio with the in demand new samples.  Whether you have lots of old inventory or you just want to update your portfolio then this class is for you.  Register for Inspiration with Sizzle today!

Quick Inspirations

July'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 >

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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