Friday Finds: Fabio Wallcovering

Claire and her Fabio wallcovering.
Look closely to see the cover of the romance novel recreated as a wallcovering pattern.

We are showcasing the talented Miss Claire and her interest in wallcovering. The top two photos are from the exhibit “Appreciation: A Celebration of the U of M Arts Scholarship Program” at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery. The exhibit runs through August 26, 2010.

Claire designed and “printed” the wallcovering shown in these photos. She spent time studying damask wallcovering patterns and gathering information from Jon, at Hirshfield’s Edina location. Claire feels that “wallcovering can completely make a space go over the top.” Her pattern was inspired by the cover of a romance novel featuring Fabio and a lady-love. I neglected to ask the most obvious question; how she thought to turn the cover of a romance novel into a wallcovering pattern. Maybe she’ll let us know.

Here is a simplified description of the process, which I imagine was very time-consuming.

  • Claire designs the pattern. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it.
  • Adobe Photoshop file is downloaded to the laser cut machine.
  • Claire has to cut the fabric (feels like Ultrasuede) so it will fit in the bed of the laser cut machine.
  • The fabric is then fed through the machine which is calibrated to cut the nap of the fabric at varying heights to produce Claire’s design.
  • It takes two hours to produce one panel and the exhibit wall consists of 21 wrapped panels. The panels are wrapped, taking care to match the pattern repeat on every panel.

Claire likes to create art that has a domestic feel to it. Nostalgic… over the top… and ridiculous, are words she uses to describe her work. This very talented young lady would some day like to be an Art Conservator working with historic textiles and costumes.

The names of the five other artists and exhibit information are listed below. Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients. If you have never been to the Gallery, it is easy to find, with parking right across the street.

Exhibitions and Events

BFA Juried Scholarship Exhibition

Appreciation: A Celebration of the University of Minnesota Arts Scholarship Program

Featuring works from Scholarship Recipients: Clair Anderson ’10, Sarah Baker ’10, Miles Mendenhall, Drew Peterson’09, Alexander Schluender ’09, Oakley Tapola ’09

Exhibition dates:Tuesday, August 10 – Thursday, August 26, 2010
Reception With the Artists, Thursday, August 12, 7 – 9 pm

Gallery hours during the special exhibition:
Tuesday- Friday, 11 am-4 pm
Saturday, 11 am – 4 pm
Sunday and Monday, closed

Please Note: Gallery hours for Thursday, August 12: 11 am – 4 pm, reopening at 6:30 – 8 pm.

2 Responses
  1. Claire

    Answer to the most obvious question “Why turn a romance novel cover into a wallcovering pattern?” I have spent a lot of time collecting romance novel covers. It hurts to admit, but I have Fabio’s fan page bookmarked. These images are so ridiculous they are addicting. Another addiction- the romantic scenes of peasants frolicking in the French countryside found on so many toile fabrics. Both sources of imagery are overly romantic- but each takes this notion of “romantic” in a completely different- but equally ridiculous- direction. When I began, I was making my own boarder-line vulgar, romance-novel-inspired toile pattern. When I started playing with the images in Photoshop, I was delighted at the busy damask-like pattern I could create by rotating and repeating the same image. Unlike the toile-inspired pattern I was working on, this approach allowed Fabio to disappear and become pure pattern from a distance, only to be revealed upon closer inspection. It had a subtlety that the toile pattern lacked (I know, it seems so wrong to describe anything involving Fabio as subtle). I think the humor of the piece was intensified by adding the surprise of finding Fabio- and his lady’s heaving bosom- within the overall pattern.

Leave a Reply