Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Copper ceilings

Its been a few months of non stop work on beautiful copper ceilings. Real copper, mind you, applied as a delicate layer of leaf over other surfaces and applied to the ceiling.

First, there is this gorgeous take on a traditional coffered ceiling, in which the coffers are actually tiles by Ceilume, which are painstakingly painted, leafed, antiqued and sealed. I thought this would take a month or so to do the whole 400sqft ceiling, but it ended up taking more like 3 months, part and full time.

Ceilume ( tiles are actually not metal at all, but a sturdy polystyrene panel usually used as suspended ceiling inserts but can also be used on sheet rock ceilings with proper adhesive and careful nailing. There are other brands, but this one seemed the most sturdy and likely to withstand fluctuations of temperature and weather. Though I was installing them inside, I want the best possible product for my clients.

Painted copper can look stunning, but it doesn't compare with leaf.... leaf is so rich, reflective and gorgeous that when compared side by side, there simply IS no comparison. Great care was taken in the design to create an even pattern, with no partial tiles at the edges, and in the installation to glue and tack the tiles up, one by one, square and even. Each join between each tile has a tiny copper strip that covers the space and fills in the pattern.

The other installation is a new product for me. It is Anaglypta style wallpaper (wallpaper with a raised or embossed texture) is sold unpainted and is usually installed and then painted finishes and antiquing stains are applied. Because copper is so labor intensive a process, I decided to leaf, glaze, and seal this paper in the studio first, and then install it on the ceiling. There are a few technical glitches to iron out to get it installed properly, but for this client, in this installation, it was a wonderful fit.

I have used copper leaf before when we decided to update some kitchen cabinets but keep the Texas Farmhouse feel. Copper leaf, glazed with stain and varnished to seal, both provide a face lift to the old cabinets and a rosy, traditional glow to the kitchen.

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