About Coloratura

We have used furniture as a canvas for our ideas for almost thirty years. Briefly, we respond to the form, character and/or history of an already existing piece of furniture. We are guided by our own sensibilities along with an extensive examination of history and art history. We use enamel paints and hand-rub each layer to insure heirloom quality in these one-of-a-kind works of art.

Working in three dimensions and on objects from the past provide both compositional challenges and thematic inspirations. Our process begins with the selection of a piece of furniture carefully chosen to reflect a given period and design sensibility. Using various forms of furniture from different eras and origins allows great variety in the approach (an 1850s American Empire chest inspires a totally different artistic direction from a 1950s Scandinavian coffee table). After the piece is selected it is studied, with research done on various art or design movements concurrent with its era. Woven into the concept of each work may be inspirations from painting, music, film, literature or applied arts such as furniture, textile and graphic design, parallels that perhaps may have also inspired the original designer/creator of the piece of furniture. We reinterpret these inspirations with an emphasis on color and composition joined with an underplayed emotional content. We see these works as art historical musings.

Although we search out pieces with a high quality of design, we are sensitive to the historic value of period furniture. We are readily able to find furniture that has not survived the passage of time with an original patina (such as pieces with missing veneers, gouges, cigarette burns, etc.) or are even returnable to anything akin to their original state. Determining the suitability of a piece is part of our selection process.

Prior to painting, the furniture is carefully prepared. A piece is repaired if necessary, stripped to the raw wood and primed before many base coats of enamel paint are applied and hand-rubbed between coats. The pictorial work is also executed in enamels and covered with coats of varnish. The final finish is hand-rubbed, polished and waxed. The result of the care that we give to the finish of every piece is a surface that is satiny to the touch and extremely durable.

The excellence of our work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts with a Fellowship Award and by inclusion in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.