Graduate Collection Featuring Luxurious Wall Panelling

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A collection of luxurious wall panels and treatments for interiors, inspired by arabesque and biomorphic patterns and the beauty of decay. The use of copper oil-gilding features heavily within this collection, applying traditional craftsmanship skills to convey the extravagant side of decadence; utilising also materials, craftsmanship and surface decoration to portray this idea.

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A luxurious and expensive aesthetic has been achieved through using processes of deterioration alongside resists; creating a personal methodology to restrict the impact of a forceful process, retaining a pattern on the panel’s surface. This selection of surface treatments is aimed at contract interiors, exploring a variety of surface qualities, whilst bringing together a well-crafted pattern and textural nish, relating back to the theme of metamorphic decadence. A variety of handcraft skills and processes were used in the creation of this collection; gilding, verdigris, sanding, acid-etching, dyeing, and casting and moulding; and CAD design skills to create accurate models for CNC and laser work.

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The colour palette within these surfaces portrays an element of luxury together with a decayed and distressed aesthetic. Using strong blues alongside neutral grey tones, in built-up layers using copper as an accent colour to brighten and highlight this palette. Navy, Indigo and dusky blues work with charcoal, slate and chalky greys to add drama to the collection without competing against the metallic strength of the copper, working together in harmony.


Graduate Collection at Degree Exhibition

Graduate collection in final degree exhibition at Bucks New Uni,

Featuring 3d concrete tiles with oil-gilt copper planes in three different designs and a collection of oil-gilt copper panels, acid-etched inlay, burnished laser etch and dyed panel and presswork emboss verdigrised tiles.IMG_6845.JPGIMG_6857.JPGIMG_6870.JPG

Overall group of 9 hexagons, above shows the arrangement for my degree show and below shows all three designs and the two variations of each with copper gilt planes and plain concrete.

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Metamorphic Decadence – Sample Palettes and Mini Collections 

Putting my developed samples into mini collections and creating palettes centred around a theme of distressed, to make a cohesive grouping that reflects my original intent and clearly conveys my title of Metamorphic Decadence. 

Distressed Palette 

This collection explores the distressed aesthetic, appreciating the depth of character and added interest gained from the use of texture and harsh processes. I have used sanding, patination, discolouration and verdigris to convey this idea of distressed into my samples.

Adding an element of luxury is very important to me in this project, to enhance the rough processes used and refine the overall resul; through my use of copper and gilding I have achieved this.

Copper Gilt Palette

This palette uses oil gilt copper to add the aforementioned luxurious aesthetic I desire, I have used verdigris in the two lefthand images to manipulate the clean, precise patterning and gilding, whilst also maintaining the beauty and refined impact these samples portray.

This collection shows the variety of outcomes I have created exploring distressed and luxury.

This groups works well together as a four because they all have elements in common, for example the top sample uses verdigris as does the piece below, which uses a variant of the pattern used in the sample below. Therefore connecting these together and harmonising this grouping as a collection.

3D Formed Triangles 

After seeing the use of an equilateral triangle tile in ‘The Art of the Islamic Tile’ I was inspired to explore the idea of using a triangle tile to differ my repeat designs and investigate the different manipulation achieved by diverting from the standard square repeat tile. As well as this, I also decided to explore creating a 3D triangular tile, developed around the same idea of exploring an equilateral triangle repeat. These experiments originated as origami manipulations of triangle pieces of paper adding 3D form to these through valley and mountain forms. Once I had perfected three origami forms I developed these into plaster molds which I cast filled with concrete, to create a concrete 3D tile. Although within these I was achieving the creation of a suitable 3D form, I was unhappy with the irregularities in heights and the inability for the tiles to fit together. So I then developed this design further into a CAD drawing which I got CNC cut into a dense foam and cast in plaster of Paris to create a mold, ready to cast my concrete tiles in. 

The following images show my process to get to this stage:

 Page from ‘The Art of the Islamic Tile’ showing the different tiling designs and repeat tile variations

Close up detail of the equilateral triangle tile shape I was inspired by, I really like the symmetry creating by mirroring all three sides on the next tile.

 Origami triangle shapes, using mountain and valley folds to manipulate a triangular piece of paper into unusual and interesting 3D forms that are successful due to the use of symmetry within the shapes.

 Initial developed concrete tile, created using a card back plastic origami shape to capture the detail of the folds.  
  CNC dense foam shapes, using a precise CAD drawing to ensure all heights are exact and the tiles will tessellate successfully 


Plaster of Paris mold created by casting the foam shapes, ready to create my concrete 3D triangles

Close up Detail Images of Samples

I really like the above image because of the subtlety of the raised pattern which blends in well to the textured gesso backing which has also been acrylic copper gilding


Cooper gilded shapes with added textured from the verdigris treatment


Chemical reaction between my materials creating this exciting growth pattern reminiscent of mineral growth spreads

Gradual revealing of pattern, showing hidden layers underneath

Sample Developments – Copper


Copper powder mixed with grey acrylic paint to create an aged copper sheen

I like how through the application of white gesso with a brush, it has created brushmarks in the surface which have been highlighted through the copper layer that was applied using a dried bristled paintbrush; through this layered approach, the surface appears worn and distressed. By burnishing the copper layer once dried it has created a lovely sheen on the surface and has highlighted




Initial samples 

These are my intial samples to portray the idea of metamorphic decadence. 

At the early stage in my development process I have chosen to use pattern within my work as a means to convey the idea of indulgence in excess, I have deliberately tried to use harmful techniques such as verdigris or bleed dyes to put across the idea of distressed whilst also changing ever so slightly over time to fully relate these samples back to my project title.  

The above image shows my first attempt at verdigrised gilt copper leaf, although it is quite rough and unrefined in appearance it is very exciting to see that gilt copper leaf can be verdigrised. For this sample I first created a back layering of gesso which I then gilt using real copper leaf on an acrylic size, then I added the pattern on top by placing a reduced adhesive vinyl which I used to control the application of varnish. I applied two coats of varnish to this piece then brushed on bleach to speed up the natural verdigris process. 

This has been partially successful by showing that verdigrising copper gilding is possible and creating a pattern through this process, I think using bleach as an agent to speed up the verdigris was too harmful and destroyed the varnish as well in some areas.

The above sample documents my exploration into inlaying pieces of copper into gesso to create a smooth surface that resembles marquetry, I am very pleased with this outcome.

I really like the combination of the dark lightly textured gesso alongside the dimpled shiny copper. Now that I have developed this technique I think it could be really interesting to add more pattern onto the copper shapes through verdigris, acid etching or perhaps sandblasting

This above image is easily my favourite of these samples, I think it is has a beautiful aesthetic from the combination of contrasts between; the high shine gilt surface and the matte dusky blue gesso work, and between the colour choice which verges on complementary colours blue and orange.

To add the idea of distressed into this sample I kept a very high refined finish but distressed the pattern imagery used by gradually fading out the design taking elements of the details away as if there was only elements of the pattern left behind.

The above sample derives from a happy accident, my intention was to create a sample where the copper gilding was raised slightly above the coloured gesso. So I dyed my gesso a strong dark blue and then placed a vinyl stencil on top, and used an acrylic size to apply the copper leaf. A couple of days later I resumed work on this sample hoping that the leaf would be firmer and ready to remove the vinyl stencil hidden underneath. However over these couple of days the dye in the gesso had bled and dyed the copper leaf also, creating a slightly subtler pattern than intended but it has great interest when manipulated against light. 

To develop this I need to explore further into dyed copper and discover a method to remove the vinyl sticker which I think may destroy this sample of found and removed by someone other than me and adds a personal element ofdisaffection  for me knowing it could damage this sample.


I really like the above sample and the colour action change caused from the process used. To create this I was trying to create an embossed sheet of copper from a cardboard cutout . However of course the cardboard wasn’t strong enough to withstand the pressure of the roller and crumbled whilst also getting slightly attached to the copper surface.

Very carefully I decided instead to try to capture the cardboard in its current crumbled state whilst also capturing the tiles’s cut out pattern detail. To do this I mounted a mould around this copper tile which I filled with plaster, when I was remove img the plaster tole from the copper I noticed the copper had been discoloured by the plaster andalso small traces of plaster were left behind on the copper’s surface. 

Above is the before moenitoned plaster cast crumbled cardboard cutout elements, I like the disruption of the pattern that this distructive process has caused and alonside the gold detailing this responds very well to my project intentions.

Copper gilt textured  surface, created using a roller to apply the base layers of acrylic gesso, then dyed and coated in acrylic size and imitation copper gilded. In this sample I really love the effect the textured gesso has had on the copper gilding’s ability to reflect and manipulate light.As in one of my previous samples the dye used had also dyed the copper leaf, this has happened again, but in a slighter manner caused just occasional element of the copper to be affected. Perhaps it would be interesting to sand the surface gently and explore the results of this, whether it would reveal the coloured gesso below or just damage the copper leaf


Acid etched copper sheets created by covering the surface in a matte spray paint and then using a laser etcher to remove elements of the spray paint and form the pattern. Then I placed it in a acid bath for 30 minutes to etch the details of the laseretcher pattern into the copper’s surface, next I removed the protective spray paint and then polished up the copper sheet. 

I think this is a really successful method to to use a distressing process to to retain an image on the samples’s surface whilst also keeping true to the idea of luxury and decadence.