Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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A wall tapestry adds more than beauty to a home, it's depth and texture add warmth and character, too. To make a tapestry ...
even more special you can commission and artist to create a one-of-a-kind, personal wall tapestry. To discover how you go about commissioning a wall tapestry Meghan Carter of http://www.AsktheDecorator.com visited tapestry artist Pamela Topham.
Tags:How to Select Wall Tapestry,Art,askthedecorator,commission,decor,decorate,decorator,diy,home,house,meghan carter,tapestries,tapestry,wall
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Meghan: Tapestry weaving is a dead art and last practiced in the Middle Ages. Today there are numerous artists creating beautiful tapestries. And if you are lucky enough to find one, you can have a tapestry made just for you. And today we are going to learn from tapestry artist Pamela Topham how to have a tapestry commissioned.
I am hitting the road, searching for answers in finding great design. It is a quest for beauty, function and of course inspiration.
When somebody is to commission a piece, what step do they have to go through?
Pamela: Well first you will have to see the artist work and you see they do the kind of thing, in my case that they were interested specifically probably in landscape, and they might have their own ideas or they might leave it pretty open. They might have a favorite place, you know, let us just say for example, so if somebody that lives in East Hampton and they have this favorite spot where they can see the Cedar Point lighthouse.
And it is across the bay and it is off in a distance, on a spit of land and it is their favorite spot, and so they would commission me and I would start with the sketch, is this the kind of thing, yes. Is that, okay and then I do a finished drawing, so this would be what I going to work from and what they would see is what it is going to look like.
And then usually, they would make a payment early on and then what I do is kind of spread it out to halfway and then finish them on.
Meghan: What would you advice for somebody who is going to have a tapestry commissioned?
Pamela: I think it is looking around on different tapestry weavers, you can see on the internet now, you can find different—that just gives you the idea of the composition because it is very hard to copy on the texture.
So it takes sometime to look around and find the kind of thing you like and then you might have studio visit to that artist. And sit and talk to them and find out what it cost and find out how they work. Other people might work differently.
For the most part you are going to start with a drawing, or you might come to them with a photograph and say this is a place when I was in Italy and I want this in tapestry. And then for me, I have to work from a drawing I cannot work from a photograph. So I am going to interpret that photograph in a drawing and then it goes—next interpretation is from a drawing to the weaving.
But, I think, you might even visit several artists in their studios and see their work up-close, see them in galleries wherever you can. So you get a better and better idea of what you want, so you are clear in what you want before you see them. And then, really it is a conversation about your vision for your house and the artist vision. You might, if you get down to an artist and said, “This is the one,” then you might take them to see the space. So that gives them a better idea of where it would become and how it would look, it might even influence a piece of that.
The last thing an artist wants to hear is I have to match myself. It is suppose to match the sofa to match the art.
Meghan: It does not work the other way around?
Pamela: No, if that is your motivation, do not tell them.
Meghan: Does it make it harder for the artist to work in those conditions?
Pamela: When they say I think, when we have kind of a corporate convention, it has been more restrictive sometimes. They want the—you know in this case that we mentioned it was for a college campus, it looks like lawn and not a meadow and that kind of thing.
The people have their own ideas about things and I think it is the more you talk and sitting there with the drawing, it really spells it out. That gives them a chance to say—some people have better vision of that transferring that drawing to this tapestry that is substantially bigger in a different medium. And some people might not, so the more you talk and share that, then, the better shape you bolt in and you can write out a contract so that everybody knows—I think that for me, with strangers you will have a good contract, mostly I have doubt with the gall