I’ve never been to Morocco but who hasn’t heard of the magical land near the Mediterranean Sea and at the north of Africa? I’ve seen photos of travelers posing in front of gorgeous mosaics and tiled walls. The colors of their tiles and the exotic spices found in dishes like tangine evoke a dreamy landscape of sandy dunes and Arabian adventure. I think of camel rides across the desert, dusky colored landscapes, intricate architecture full of patterns and bright colors. It’s hard not be inspired by the romance of Morocco.
The colors that come to me are corals, teals, blues, gold, copper, ruby, dusky orange, and purple. Incorporating all of these colors may seem a bit much for a piece of furniture but I believe a balance can be achieved that will create a wonderful landscape that draws you in and leaves you in breathless. I was lucky to have 2 clients who wanted me to create Moroccan pieces for them and I was happy to take on the customs. Color, for me is a form of expression beyond words. It weaves a storyline of emotions dancing in your head. When I am moved by color, I feel tears brimming in my eyes because the emotions are so overwhelming. It’s like listening to music and having it pull at the chords of your heart. I can’t help but respond.
For my first dresser set, I used blues, teals, splashes of coral, purple and bits of copper. I wanted this one to be joyful and expansive like a clear blue sky on a limitless day. My client is from South Africa so she wanted a bit of animal print here and there. I love metallic paints. The colors you think of when it comes to metallic paints are usually: gold, silver, copper, bronze, or iron. Being lucky to use Modern Master’s huge array of metallic colors has changed my view on metallic paints. I have every hue you can imagine and maybe not imagined. The way they reflect the light, gives them a vibrate I just can’t achieve with chalk paints. Most paints are matte unless you topcoat them with a satin sheen or gloss. Even then, it’s still flat and I often add texture to give it some dimension and depth.
I paint my pieces with a base of chalk paint or other paints that match the metallic color I want to use or is complimentary to all the colors I will be using. Beige and gray are usually the safest colors to use for any of the colors. Warm tones for beige and cold tones for gray. After the base dries, I add the metallic paints and allow each layer to dry before adding another because if you overwork the paint, it will be a splotchy mess. Brushstrokes in one direction help give you less apparent brushstrokes later and help with blending colors. To achieve a beautiful blending when different colors meet, gently brush them against each other until they meld seamlessly. I used mostly glacier blue and sapphire for the dresser set. I also used redesign with prima’s transfer: boho patchwork as it has the color textile patterns she wanted. I used stencils to create the tile and mosaic like surface pattern with decor waxes which are my second favorite next to metallic paints.
To me, this is what boho is, colorful and playful. Boho is a wild and carefree spirit without pretension or convention. For my second commission, I took a different direction with sunset colors and dusk. I wanted it to be warm. I used more coppers, ruby, gold, and subtle peeks of coral for the dresser. It already had lovely detailing on the surface so I just added some subtle stenciling to give it the signature Moroccan patterns. I also created an ombre finish.
The matching desk I wanted to be complimentary but not identical in color. I added appliqués to give the flat surface details like the dresser but in a different style. I created them with fast cast resin and redesign with prima moulds. I used the colors I already had with the dresser but added more purples and teals to it. Sunsets come in all colors and varieties. I did a sort of sweeping ombre from side to side. The top I made more playful with parts of a transfer on top of patchwork stenciling with decor waxes. I sealed the top with resin because I wanted it to be protected the best it can, especially being a desk top, it would be subject to much scraping and scratches. I also love the glass like finish resin always leaves. This one was a magical carpet ride into Jasmine’s palace.
I don’t think this will be the last Moroccan inspired designs I’m asked to do nor want to create. I travel the world in my mind and try to convey the culture in my work. There’s so much beauty and mystery in this vast world that not visiting it would be hindering to the imagination. I have only to look around me in order to find the design for my next piece.