Custom Wallpaper Making
This dado paper was discovered beneath five layers of wallpaper and one layer of varnish in a Victorian house at Parkville, Melbourne, Australia.
The varnish had turned dark brown with age and it was difficult to identify its original beauty.
Many steps and great care were required to reproduce it for the client. They were:
- The client commissioned William Wilding's family business to carry out an investigation into the history of the house’s decorative scheme
- WW undertook the investigation and the paper was located and uncovered
- A photographer was commissioned to undertake documentary photography
- Caitlin Ziegler, who had worked on other complex papers for the house, was engaged to reproduce the dado design to its original scale, in addition to the border which was found with it, and a frieze that she custom made in association with Wilding to the client’s taste
- She was supplied with the raw photographic files, which she then blew up to 100%
- It was impossible to identify the precise original colours due to the dark brown varnish, so Phyllis Murphy was asked to consult her collection of authentic wallpaper designs in order to identify the original colour scheme for that type of paper from that time period
- Phyllis identified an original piece of wallpaper in mint condition with which to recreate the colour scheme
- Caitlin Ziegler consulted Fine Artist Anthony Chiappin to determine how to reproduce the unique stippled effect that the roller means of manufacturing had originally made.
- She sat down to identify and separate the colours using the original wallpaper remnant as a guide. She adopted a hand-drawn illustrative technique, to begin with.
- In the process of reproducing 25% of the design by hand, she identified six colours through a blend of intuition and eye.
- She then scanned the portion she had reproduced by hand into the computer, and worked with it in photoshop to save herself time and the client money.
- Then she exported it into illustrator and, working always in communication with William Wilding, prepared it for print in the most efficient way possible.
- After providing colour proofs, the design was authorised by the client and JoJo Design transferred the files to film
- Just as the artwork represented new ground, so too did the printing. We experimented with different screens and settled on the one that would not only mirror the original design best, but the finish of the original design.
- As there were six colours working together in the original design, we looked to ensure the colours we reproduced would work with the colours in the carpets, and the curtains, the tiles nearby, the stained-glass windows and the decorative pressed metal ceiling and painted skirting boards and architraves.
- We mixed these colours by eye at the factory, and then presented various versions to the client.
- Finally we settled on the colourway shown, and produced the work on budget, on time.