ArtFusion Event 2017

The hippest International event of the year for Decorative Finishers, Artists, and Designers is back, and this year scheduled for September 20 - 24, 2017 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Join us for four days of workshops, product and tool demonstrations, exhibitors, public art sale and event parties.  The best part is exploring the latest trends and tools in the industry while meeting and connecting with others in an atmosphere of friendship, sharing and learning.

Although this event was created for Professional Decorative Finishers, this is the fusion of multi art forms and artists, in the hope that we will all grow our skills, portfolio, and most importantly, ourselves. Professionals as well as interested newcomers are welcome to attend.

We are going to stir things up with over 20 workshops!  

Wednesday, September 20

 Day classes
 Ellie Ellis – Bas Relief  - day 1 of 2  $350
 Ali Kay - Painting with Reactives  - day 1 of 2  $400
 Ande Crenshaw and Henri Menendez – Cabinets - day 1 of 2  $475  Technique/Spraying/Production  finishing
 Morey Dunbar – Rollers and foils  $180  Decorative painting

Evening Classes
Igor Turovskiy – Art Resin (day 1 of 2)  $250  Epoxy resin art
Beki VanMeter - Flo-Fusion $150  Acrylic flow techniques
Lora Murphy - Oil and Cold Wax (day 1 of 2) $195  Encaustic

Thursday, September 21

Day Classes
Ellie Ellis – Bas Relief - day 2   
Ali Kay – Painting with Reactives - day 2
Ande Crenshaw and Henri Menendez - day 2
Debbie Hayes - Reverse Psychology: Painting On Glass  $250  Metal reactives+ glass techniques
Sandra Gonzalez – From Walls to Canvas  $210  Decorative painting

Evening classes
Igor – Art Resin (day 2) 
Shauna Gallagher - Multi-Media Abstract Landscape  $150  Canvas art
Lora Murphy - Oil and Cold Wax (day 2) 
Trish McKinney - Wanderlust Watermedia  $175  Watercolor

Friday, September 22

Day classes
Bryan King – Mural Painting  $250  Beginning mural techniques
Sheri Zeman - Modern Finishing  $225  Decorative painting
Beki VanMeter – ArtScapes by Beki  $200  Art Resin
Lora Murphy - Encaustic, a whirlwind trip  $240

Friday Evening Festivities

Exhibitors and demos

Fauxtini Party - Live music - and surprises!

Saturday, September 23

Cindee Lundin – World Class Concrete Tile and Innovative New Concepts in Concrete- day 1 of 2 $450  Carved concrete
Dean Sickler - Mastering Plastering  $250  Italian/Venetian plaster
Patti Halstead - Coastal Coordinates  $225  Cabinet and wall finishes
Oscar Urruela -  "Scagliola" from the Italian baroque to the present day.  $375 Wet plaster techniques

Saturday evening
Michelle Simpson  - Think outside the ink  $100  Alcohol ink
Trish McKinney – You Should be Gellin  $175  Gel stains

Saturday evening entertainment

B I N G O  Come dressed as your favorite artist.  Prize for best costume!

Sunday, September 24

Cindee Lundin – World Class Concrete Tile and Innovative New Concepts in Concrete- day 2
Camille Caballero – Cali Love!  $175  Decorative painting
Cynthia Davis - Stunning Canvas Art with Unusual Stencils  $255  Canvas art
Aliya Riaz - Way Beyond Gilding  $225  Gold leaf techniques

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Bryan King

Bryan King the owner of Artifice Inc. graduated with a B.F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1979, and an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1981. He has been working  as a decorative artisan and muralist since 1986. As well as the thirty years of experience Bryan has acquired in the decorative arts, he has a passion for mural and trompe-l’oeil work which has allowed him to further a lifelong interest in a representational style of painting and architectural perspective.

He has been a past instructor of mural painting for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program and a member of the Salon, an international organization of the finest decorative artisans working today.   Additionally his decorative painting work has included many prestigious projects including the intricate faux finishes for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Bryan promises to be personally engaged with all commissions that Artifice Inc. is hired to complete.

Bryan will be teaching a mural class at the 2017 ArtFusion Event in North Carolina.

Painting after Gericault, 40in x 24in.

Trompe-l’oeil coffered ceiling, Grand Central Restaurant, Washington, DC.

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Camille Caballero

Do you know Camille Caballero?  Camille has been teaching with Faux Masters, a Faux Effects, Inc. distributor and training center since 2007.  Camille says, "It started by accident—I really just fell into faux finishing but sometimes that's the way life works when it directs you to your passion. I really love what is possible with this specialized type of painting. My passion is creating new finishes, exploring new ways of using the classics or just thinking outside of the box. I have dedicated countless hours to product research and developing new techniques by staying informed and educated with the ever-evolving design trends."

Stemming from a strong background in ceramics, Camille has a detail-oriented and hands-on approach to all her projects, which has only helped her thrive in faux finishing & decorative painting.

Camille's work has been featured in published literature (Author Jeanette Fisher, Design Psychologist), television (Flip That House, TLC Network), galleries, and many homes all throughout the U.S.

Social media:


Camille will be teaching at the ArtFusion Event for the first time September 2017.

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Why scagliola is better than marble

Left: Elisabetta Bianchi and Silvia Berlincioni in the workshop; Right: Alessandro Bianchi, master scagliolist, uses a chisel and mallet to engrave a centrepiece © Michele Borzoni/TerraProject

APRIL 22, 2016 by: Jonathan Foyle

Scagliola, or “scal-yo-lah”, is a fine word, with all the flourish of a flamenco dancer. Yet the ancient technique of creating this imitation stone is very much Italian, having re-emerged from workshops in the centre of the country centuries ago. Ever since Giorgio Vasari wrote Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects (1550), Florence has been sold as the crucible in which the Renaissance was stirred, reviving the arts of the classical world. Yet there is no doubt that scagliola makers are at home in this city of grand medieval buildings with marble façades.

Just east of the city, in Pontassieve, is the workshop of master scagliolist Alessandro Bianchi. Scagliola was described by Vitruvius in the first century BC, and its revival was a later achievement of the Renaissance. The finest ancient Roman columns were of genuine rose marble, purple porphyry and green serpentine — finite supplies that had been lugged at huge effort from Egypt and Greece — and many of these columns were chopped up in the middle ages. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the best available blue stone, Afghan lapis lazuli, was more expensive than gold. So Italians carved a market in pietra dure, the craft of cutting and cementing small pieces of colourful marble for tabletops and cabinets. In Emilia, artisans found a way of making ground marble dust into pastes that would set firmly into precisely cut holes in stone furniture and fittings. Scagliola had returned. A late 17th-century scagliola fireplace can be found in Ham House, Richmond upon Thames, south-west London. Though diverse examples were exported across Europe, its patronage and manufacture held a special relationship with Britain. The man credited with transforming the craft into an art form was Enrico Hugford, a monk of English extraction from Vallombrosa, an abbey 20 miles south-east of Florence. He experimented with crushed stones and powders of coloured oxides, mixed with clay and glue to depict landscapes and scenes, four of which were exhibited in 1737 in the Florentine church of Santissima Annunziata. His pupil, Lamberti Gori, took the technique into the city, beginning the tradition that Bianchi upholds today.

Restoring an 18th-century altarpiece © Michele Borzoni/TerraProject

Bianchi’s father, Bianco, founded his eponymous business in the early 1950s after war had racked Florence but left its prime monuments and art collections fairly intact. Bianchi, now the owner of Bianco Bianchi, explains how his father was “absorbed” by the display of Hugford’s work in the Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence and the monastery in Vallombrosa. “He studied the 18th-century materials and techniques, then opened a workshop to make tables and panels inlaid in marble and scagliola,” he says.

Bianchi remembers well his father’s workshop, where he spent time out of school drawing, carving and incising “graffito” patterns into tabletops, panels, fireplaces and decorative floors. He retains his early appreciation for the material’s qualities. “Scagliola is a warmer material than marble and stones,” he says. “It is possible to make detailed and intricate patterns that cannot be made with marble. And to create many gradations of colours.”

The warmth he mentions is literal. Scagliola is a compound material with much greater thermal insulation than natural marble. This makes it well suited to floors and bathrooms, but it is also an easy way to touch-test what at first sight appears to be cool stone. The raw material Bianchi uses is selenite, a gypsum that is ground to a powder and mixed with natural coloured oxides and earth from a range of yellow ochre, terra di Siena, natural yellow oxide, warm red ochre, Pompeiian red and ultramarine. The tinted stone powder is bound with fine clays and casein (a protein derived from milk) or gum arabic from the acacia tree, following his father’s recipe.

So far, Bianchi’s explanation of materials and methods respects the traditions of scagliola that found favour during the age of the Grand Tour in the century after about 1715, when the British milordi trundled across Europe in search of antiquities. Beholding the great marble columns of a lost golden age, tourists demanded reflected glories in their own hallways and dining rooms from Scotland to Cornwall.

Oscar Urruela

Scagliolists achieved the look of ancient Roman marble monoliths by spreading a gypsum base around columns of brick or lath-and-plaster, adding a coloured layer with chips of alabaster and further colour or veining effects by wiping a web of silk threads dipped in pigment, polished to a glossy finish. Some effects were improbable: John Nash had blue columns imitate cylinders of lapis lazuli in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace. Nor was he the first. Such commissions encouraged not just Florentine pride, but a university chair in scagliola techniques at the city’s Accademia di Belle Arti.

Bianchi sees history and tradition as very important, but no less so than innovation because scagliola is still relatively unknown outside Italy, and the company’s marketplace has changed. Some of his own work can be found in a tabletop at Kensington Palace, it is true, but other pieces were commissioned by fashion houses such as Versace and Céline. The Sultan of Brunei is also a client, plus numerous architects with site-specific commissions. To evolve the craft, Bianchi has recently juxtaposed scagliola with other materials such as wood, Plexiglas and gold. Bianchi’s aim is to produce pieces that are detailed and more refined than those of his workshop’s competitors. “[A lot of scagliola] is made with synthetic resins, not natural materials, using cheap workers with a very poor artistic value,” he says. He leads by example: “We have a very important collection of antique scagliola works dated between the 17th and 19th centuries that can be visited by appointment — a unique museum in the world.” Take that as an invitation.

Oscar Urruela will be traveling from Spain for a demonstrative class on the art and method of Scagliola.   Saturday, September 23, 2017

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The Decorative Painters Event

ArtFusion Event founder Kathy Boyd (me), had been saying for years that she wanted to have an industry event.  Back in 2003 Kathy's dream was to have a Woodstock for the faux painting industry and call it FauxStock.  Some 10 years later the idea of camping out in a tent was not as appealing anymore, but the idea of an event never was forgotten.  In 2014 when an existing industry event for Decorative Painters announced at their convention that it would be their last, Kathy thought the timing was right and announced plans for ArtFusion Event to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The plan for ArtFusion Event was simple enough, in theory anyway.  Create an event that would bring together Decorative Painters in a more affordable, and relaxed environment.  Create something that would inspire and reawaken our passion for the industry.  I have half jokingly pondered the idea of a retirement home for Decorative Artists.  It seems that the majority of us fall between the ages of 45 - 65, and a lot of us are looking for something that will help ease the aches and pains of climbing ladders.  I imagine it would be hard to retire from this business completely.  What other job do you get to express your artistic and creative side so thoroughly?  I remember thinking about this at a 2009 Faux Retreat.  One of the instructors brought a canvas that everyone applied their leftover product on and the at the end of the week we had created a beautiful canvas that I took home with me and submitted to an area charity to auction for their fundraiser.  For subsequent Retreats I gave everyone their own canvas and encouraged them to use their leftover products from jobs to create works of art that they could then sell.  Many really took off with this idea and have ended up having gallery showings.  A great way to supplement your income!

The theory of ArtFusion Event is to not only have the decorative painting classes (faux finishing, fine plasters, bas relief, cabinets, floor and countertop finishing, etc.) that we want and need to keep our portfolios fresh, but to incorporate other art mediums where we can learn something new.  The classes chosen to be included in the Event must have something about them either in style or technique that could be incorporated into our Decorative Painting business, and give us another set of skills that we can use to create works of art for individual sale.  These "new" class types have been encaustic, gel, alcohol ink, resin art, mixed media, and cold wax to name just some of them.

So what makes ArtFusion Event different?

1. Although I have some instructors in the Decorative Painting industry that have taught at other industry venues, I like to bring in "new" instructors and "out of the norm" class types.  I also don't want instructors that teach at a lot of other studios and venues, within two months prior or after the ArtFusion Event.

2. We promote other artistic events.  In fact I have offered all the different convention/expos, etc. and associations a free vendors table to help promote their event.

3. Open to all artists.  The Event was created for Decorative Painters, but the longer we have the events, the more we are branching out to other mediums.  There is so much we can learn from other art forms, most of which can be incorporated into our own decorative painting work and art.

3. Unique event activities.  We have a lot of competitions, and fun activities including Iron Faux, a play on the Iron Chef show, live auction, bingo, flying frog contest, speed networking and lots more.

4. ArtFusion is a not for profit event. For every event we form an alliance with a charitable foundation and after instructors and expenses are paid, any additional money will go to that foundation.

5. Unique venue.  Every venue is chosen for not only its beautiful location, but also because it offers very affordable lodging, including meals and offers a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere.

There are plans for some more great events in the future, including the debut of Artist's Underground.

See you at ArtFusion Event 2017 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Kathy Boyd

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That face you make when the power goes out.

So the crazy storms with their 90+mph high winds hit Wednesday night, and I am without power for going on 4 days.  Now, I wasn’t totally cut off from the world,  my phone and iPad were at 6% and 18% charged respectively, so I was able to post photos on Facebook of the massive trees downed over my drive and elicit sympathy about being trapped.  After cutting, hauling and cutting again for a couple of hours starting at the dreaded 5am, I got a ride from a friend and was able to buy one of the last 3 chain saws at Home Depot. They said it is the worst storm to affect its electrical system in the Duluth area in 15 years, with about 41,000 customers without power and massive trees were down everywhere you looked.
Did I mention it was in the 90's and humid?  I don't do well in the heat.  I really don't do well chain sawing and hauling wood all day in the heat. I really really don't do well chain sawing and hauling and forgetting to drink water in the heat. So the first night I really didn't have a problem going to bed at 7PM. 
The second day without electrIcity also went relatively well.  Kind of like camping except with this kind of camping the back of my legs get stuck to my leather sofa because it is so hot.  This might actually make a great Instagram photo (with someone else playing my part.)  Me, sitting on the sofa in shorts using a spatula to un-stick the back of my legs from the sofa so I can get up and drink some warm, soon to be hot water.  Oh my dear refrigerator....I did so take you for granted.   
7pm decide to read.  Crap!  My books are now on the uncharged iPad.  7:15pm found halfway working flashlight and start reading an actual hardcover book.  7:21pm the batteries die.  7:30pm decide to take a shower in the dark.  7:32pm the hot water is out.   Did go out and got some dinner at the closest grocery store that still has power, but made the mistake of bringing it home to eat.  Cold curry chicken is not good. Curse you non-workable microwave oven.  
Let's look at the positives.  I have been wanting to clean my fridge so now I got the chance.  Everything got thrown out and it has been scrubbed down.  If the power outage hadn't occurred, I probably wouldn't have found that shriveled up lemon on the bottom shelf for another few months.
Not being able to use the AC or fan has been great for sweating out the toxins in my body. 
My next electric bill should be noticeably lower.
I have stopped procrastinating about getting the BBQ propane tank filled up.
I can live without my weekly doses of Andy Griffith and Gunsmoke.  Someone will tell me how Festus and Opie made out.
Without having the distraction of the stereo I have more time to listen to the Paw Patrol theme song going through my head.
Now I can really listen to those voices in my head.
Tomorrow, day 5 without power I will be channeling my inner Little House on the Prairie and washing clothes in the creek, and for the third morning in a row I am now the reining champion for getting to the coffee shop as it opens and making a beeline for the "special" table with the 3 hidden outlets so I can charge my "stuff".  

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