In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection.
Infinity is a pattern of dots that scale from small to large back to small, printed in two columns across the width. When seen from a distance the design is slightly reminiscent of crocodile hide. I find a great energy in this crescendo of dots over the ground hand-painted with a mottled finish, while the brilliant orange color definitely provides a wake-up call. This paper illustrates the trend toward bolder colors and stronger patterns being used in interiors.
With this collection of painted papers, Alpha Workshops is taking wallpaper production back to its roots. The studio trains their artists in the techniques of the master craftsmen, working with their hands to block print and hand-paint wallpapers. This design is an example of a contemporary wallpaper employing these early hand crafting techniques. Early wallpapers were printed with hand-carved woodblocks over painted or brushed grounds. Though they are not carving their blocks out of wood, Alpha Workshops uses an updated version of this technique to produce this very contemporary design. As the papers are made in-house the studio maintains full control over the designs, colors, and production. Alpha Workshops continues to expand their wallcoverings line, with new designs that are folded, painted, and block printed. Patterns range from punchy neutral to bold glamour.
The Alpha Workshops, Inc. is dedicated to creating beauty and changing lives. It is the nation’s only nonprofit organization providing decorative arts education and employment to at-risk youths and adults with disabilities or other vulnerabilities. The Alpha Workshops proudly serves the LGBTQ, HIV+/AIDS, and ASD communities of New York City and beyond. The organization was founded in 1995 in the Chelsea area of Manhattan and is modeled on the famed Omega Workshops, the Wiener Werkstätte, the Bauhaus, and the American Arts and Crafts movement.
Greg Herringshaw is the Assistant Curator in Wallcoverings.