Gentle Readers, I apologize for the lack of news regarding my kitchen-backsplash-Chinoiserie-ceramic-panel situation.
You see, my heart was broken. Kind of like the panels when they arrived recently.
Yep: it arrived broken. And not just the nice clean crack you see above; the panels were in SHARDS.
It isn’t surprising, though, considering the crate that was used:
Yes, the artist who spent weeks lovingly hand painting 3 large, gorgeous ceramic panels sought fit to pack them in a single box with only 1″ of styrofoam between each panel. The panels weigh 325 POUNDS, Gentle Readers. How anyone could expect thin pieces of styrofoam and one small crate to protect them is absurd!
An art history friend who works at a gallery in New York (a pretty major one, at that) happened to come into town the day after the crate arrived. She is well familiar with transporting artwork from one side of the globe to the other.
She looked at the crate and had no words.
When I pressed: “Come on, how would YOU pack three large hand-painted ceramic panels?” she took a deep breath and said, “Well, I’d begin by wrapping each panel in one direction. Then I’d wrap the same panel in the other direction…” Her description made perfect sense to me, and it wasn’t rocket science.
You know what? If I’m being honest, I wasn’t even that surprised. As excited as I’ve been to bring this beautiful Chinoiserie into my kitchen, the process has not been easy. I developed a…let’s not call it a negative attitude…let’s call it a skepticism that the project would, in fact, end happily.
So when offered a replacement — another 8-10 weeks of waiting with no guarantee that the panels would be packed any differently — or a refund, I chose the latter. The people at the company that brokered the sale have been very good about it. I’m sure they’re disappointed, too. THEY didn’t pack the panels, after all.
So. This particular chapter of my kitchen renovation is closed. The Chinoiserie is dead.
But…long live the new Chinoiserie.
Not to be an annoying optimist, but there are other ways that one can get birds and leaves into one’s kitchen if one is a teeny bit flexible. And flexibility is my middle name right now.
I met with the talented team at Billet Collins last week, and they have some terrific ideas. I’ll tell you about THAT process when we get started! But our options are:
- A mural. Admittedly not my favorite option. Too obvious ;)
- Painting a canvas, attaching it to the wall, and coating it with a supertough (non-flammable!) clear shellac-y type material. I’m doing this for a client right now, and it’s going to look amazing
- Large painted tiles…12 x 24, 24 x 30, etc.
- Installing reverse-painted glass panels — eglomisé, if you’re familiar with that term
In other words, Gentle Readers, WE HAVE OPTIONS!
Bossy color | Annie Elliott interiors is based in Washington, D.C. We create outrageously beautiful homes, starting with color.