The 2017 Craftsmanship Awards highlight the best work by WIA Members in the last year. Award categories include Specialty, Commercial, Small Space and Residential with first place, second place and honorable mentions awarded in each. A full list of winners is available below the photo gallery highlighting their work.
2017 Craftsmanship Awards Gallery
Commercial 1st Place Shelly Wilkins, C.P. Mid-Atlantic Region Rigged! The timing was critical. It was a retail location and we could only work between the hours of 10PM and 8AM. Normally, that would not be a problem, but this install was over stairs that were 6 feet wide. And . . . the stairs floated 10 inches off the wall and the mural had to go behind the stairs since the 10 inch gap allowed the wall to be visible to about 3 feet below the level of the stairs. Shelly shared that this install was most definitely nerve-wracking, and the hardest part was that the double-cuts behind the glass panel and stairs had to be done blind since the installers head would not fit within the 10" clearance. As one person did the cut, another would call directions - left, right, etc. Plus, they could not mess up as there was no spare material. Shelly noted that this project would not have been possible without the assistance of a fellow WIA member, as well as the WIA member that refereed the job to her.
Commercial 2nd Place Sandra Catlett South Region Fluff up and re-do the DWC Auditorium Walls Over the course of 4 months, Sandra took down existing fabric from the old framed panels of the DWC Auditorium. The construction crew installed new columns down the side walls. The back walls had chicken wire under two layers of old fabric, batting, and plastic. What a mess and not much of a canvas for new art! This project was in the planning stage for over 2 years. It took countless hours of meetings with the architects, designer, contractor, and officers of the DWC. 11 bolts of Scalamandre silk brocade fabric and hundreds of yards of custom trim and bolts and bolts of interlining and batting had to be put up in a very short time, right before Christmas! This was a big upholstery job for this installers little company. It involved a lot of planning and scheduling.
Commercial Honorable Mention Steven Kaye, C.P. Central Region Black Bathroom The delicate black fabric from Carnegie Fabrics required two installers. Because of the nature of the wallcovering, working clean was imperative so as not to stain the black fabric, so slow and steady was their course of action. They glue sized the walls and dry trimmed the fabric. The edges/seams were colored in with a black marker then hand pasted the wallcovering. After installing the fabric on the front face wall, they back cut the fabric by holding a trim guide as they trimmed the fabric. The use of a black marker was helpful for additional touchups at the seams after the wallcovering was installed. After they installed the Carnegie fabric, trim from Samuel & Sons was applied using Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive. Steven noted that there was not a lot of wallcovering for the size of the room, but very challenging to get the install done correctly!
Residential 1st Place Stacy Bolson Central Region 2 Story Foyer with Spiral Staircase This project consisted of painting of all woodwork and installing Bradbury & Bradbury papers on ceiling and walls and paintable expanded vinyl wallpaper on the dado of a 2 story foyer with a spiral staircase. The staircase presented a unique challenge in how to get access to the ceiling and walls. Stacy began with the ceiling fill, starting in the center of the ceiling and working their way out. Next, they installed the outermost border and worked their way towards the center, filling in decorative elements as they went. Wall fill was next, followed by frieze and border. The paintable wallpaper was installed on the dado and painted with 2 coats of base color and then glazed with a negative ragging technique to give it a leathery appearance. Overall, the installer wrote that the most challenging part of this job was getting access to the ceiling and walls in the spiral staircase, but they enjoyed the complexity of the project.
Residential 2nd Place Donna Montgomery Thom South Region Where There’s a Swirl There’s a Way As she drove up to an early 1900's double home, Donna expected a normal decorator job. Just a normal work day for her. Little did she know that there would be several hurdles with this install. Between the double landing stairwell with a fur-down ceiling, the homeowner initially not having enough wallcovering and the pattern having no center, no starting or stopping point, this installer was ready to run! After 42 man hours, 6 trips, a called in ladder and riser holder, one roll of laminate cut up swirls, another additional roll, one fine tip paint brush, and one bottle of black acrylic paint later, Donna had completed the world’s most stunning staircase! This job was no cheap task- in money or will, but the price of knowing she had created a masterpiece was priceless!
Residential Honorable Mention Luis Magan Northeast Region Staircase to Bamboo This 43.5 inch bamboo product was to be installed on the last staircase leading up to the client's rooftop patio. The highest wall measured 18 feet high. The installer used a pruning shear to cut outside corner edges. Though hard to cut, they were able to install this wallcovering in sections, especially in diagonal areas where the wall was at an angle due to the staircase. Luis made templates of the diagonal sections and butted seams horizontally and if there were any gaps they could have easily covered them with a piece of bamboo. The edges around crown moldings were trimmed with pruning shears and longer drops were trimmed with an oscillating tool and sanded edges after trimming. Luis shared that they’ve worked with bamboo before, but have never worked with this type. It was very thick, hard to bend and cut, but looked beautiful when finished.
Small Spaces 1st Place Heidi Wright-Mead, C.P. West Region Moving the Whale from Sea to Sky Heidi shared that the client handed them a box with one mural: Anthropologie's "Enchanted Forest". This 8 panel mural is 12 feet wide by 9 feet tall. Only problem was the wall the client wanted covered was 10 feet wide rising to a peak of 13 feet. And the job had to be completed that day as they were moving in the next day! Where the pattern made no sense, they used those scraps to fill in because they needed the surface to be the same material. They then decided to paint, which they shared was very fun! You see that sun at the very peak? They used five little scraps that made no sense which required a rather dark sun. Turns out it is a great anchor to the sky. The narwhale got a nice new tusk, the bunnies are playing on puffy clouds, and the snail got cute orange antennae. Even the switch plates were covered and painted to match.
Small Spaces 2nd Place Michael Baughman, C.P. West Region Refurbished Parlor After 123 years standing, the sagging tower of this home was in desperate need of leveling. Refurbishment work had begun to level the home built entirely of lathe and plaster. The entire refurbishment of the parlor took one paperhanger 7 days to remove, repair, line, apply, degrease and paint two colors of 21st Century friendly paint. The wainscot area in the tower parlor is 98 feet squared. It has three windows, with rounded walls between, below and either side, and four sidewalls with one inside corner. The walls adjoining the foyer were trimmed to intricate woodwork creating the parlor entryway. Michael shared that the most difficult part of this project was the age and condition of the home, but helping to refurbish the design quality means the home will continue into another century.
Small Spaces Honorable Mention Jeff Ragland and James Draine South Region Theater Door Upon seeing the door, this installer was at first unsure how to go about batting and wrapping both sides of this massive 3’ x 8’ x 3” thick door. Unfortunately, it could not be removed from its hinges because of the weight and difficulty the door was to install by the contractors. First, coming in enough on both sides an equal distance due to the interior door jamb, they batted the center of each side using Elmers PVA glue so it could dry quickly. Pieces of the faux leather were cut to size for each side. Beginning with the outside edge, each piece was carefully folded and cemented in place. Pieces were applied to the inside then repeated to the front side with faux side towards the opening handle to have finished upholstered look. Over 1000 upholstery tacks were applied to both sides, spacing to the designers drawing and the re-rendered drawing. Using needle nose pliers and a rubber mallet they installed all tacks. Whew! Jeff shared that everyone was super happy and all was wrapped up in time for Christmas!
Specialty 1st Place Heidi Wright-Mead, C.P. West Region Deconstructing the Coved Bay This installer walked into a beautiful Victorian bedroom and loved the graceful arch as the walls bent up to meet the ceiling. This coving continued around the room into a rounded bay with three large grand windows. They achieved this by deconstructing each element to bend the borders from the top of the picture rail up thru the arched coves onto the ceiling. For example, in the arched barrel bay section of the room, the 13.5 inch Flora border was deconstructed to fit and sit flat onto the rounded area where wall blends into ceiling. The middle border in this transition from wall to ceiling, the Elmbridge Enrichment, was deconstructed to such a point that they had hundreds of small inch plus squares. The blending from cove to ceiling is something Heidi is very proud of. The owner was going to paint the cove of the ceiling and not even bother with the bay window ceiling and now they have a stunning wallcovering installation.
Specialty 2nd Place Sandra Catlett South Region Custom de Gournay Panels for Chancellor’s Home Sandra initially took measurements and met with the architect and contractor in October 2015. The installation was complete just over a year later in October 2016. The main house was under a serious re-model, so it took several trips during 2016 to go check on the progress and revise their elevation drawings for de Gournay. The scenic panels were all custom drawn showing the buildings on the Texas Christian University Campus. Quite a few of the walls were curved under the stair and up the staircase to the second floor landing. Sandra ended up doing this area in sections. They did not want to put any paper in the stairwell until all the furnishings had been placed, so it looked a little strange for a while. Sandra used a woven liner under their scenics and 880 adhesive. At times she used a smoother, but most of the time they put their seams down by touch with surgical gloves or white compression fabric gloves. Sandra noted that the most difficult part of this install was finding where the pattern started and making sure it followed all the way through.
Specialty Honorable Mention Michael King South Region Ostrich Hide Handrail This was the first time in 40 years that Michael had been asked to install on a handrail. They had to cut 7 leather hides into long strips and then color match them. Using a product called “Stick and Stay” for adhesive, Michael pasted the handrail and the back of the skin. Using a heat gun to make the material grab and hold, he stretched the hide tightly around the rail then trimmed it. Michael then had to mitre the corners and double cut the seams, paying particular attention to not getting adhesive on the face of the hide. The most challenging part of this project was mitering the angles and getting the leather to grab so that they could stretch it.
First Place Craftsmanship Awards
Heidi Wright-Mead, C.P.
Company: Wright Mead Inc. City, State: Oakland, CA Title: Deconstructing the Coved Bay
Shelly Wilkins, C.P.
Company: Walls, Etc. City, State: Westminster, Maryland Title: Rigged!
Category: Small Spaces
Heidi Wright-Mead, C.P.
Company: Wright Mead Inc. City, State: Oakland, CA Title: Moving the Whale from Sea to Sky
Company: S.B. Bolson & Sons, LLC City, State: Decorah, IA Title: 2 Story Foyer with Spiral Staircase
Second Place Craftsmanship Awards
Company: RTA, Inc. City, State: Dallas, TX Title: Custom de Gournay panels for Chancellor's Home
Company: RTA, Inc. City, State: Dallas, TX Title: Fluff up and re-do the DWC Auditorium Walls
Category: Small Spaces
Michael Baughman, C.P.
Company: Baughman Wallcovering City, State: Oceanside, CA Title: Refurbished Parlor
Donna Montgomery Thom
Company: Touch of Distinction City, State: Abita Springs, LA Title: Where There's a Swirl There's a Way