The 2016 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.
How many relief cuts does it take to hang one sheet? For this project there wasn’t a single sheet that did not have something protruding out of the wall; ventilation, gas, and electrical pipes. Without exaggeration, each sheet installed took from 60 to 90 minutes. One sheet in particular, took 2 hours! Matching from the bottom up because of the height of the pipes, it was a challenge keeping the material stuck as they struggled to make relief cuts around the pipes. In contorting their bodies around the pipes, Steven and his team suffered scraped arms, cuts from sheet metal, a few knocks in the head, and numerous paste facials!
Installing a 30’ x 45’ mural with the number “Pi” in the stairwell of Math bldg. proved a challenge for this installer. Of course, it was important the flow of numbers wasn’t interrupted in any way. After engineering the placement of the material at the landings, he found it cut 8 inches of numbers off one side requiring the team to make 3 new seams and shrink the mural down without interrupting the sequence. Expansion joints were created to shorten the 45’ long panels. Michael lost many a night’s sleep prior to installation-but, in the end, it was “easy as Pi”.
To date, this installer has completed over 15,000 square feet of digitally produced branding wallcoverings of this eventual seven building complete makeover. The project was installed under three different scenarios: construction, working around movers, and occupied each having different challenges requiring different hanging techniques. During construction phase, an area was secured and pasted panels carefully transported to the seven buildings. Timing was critical while working around movers. Installing when occupied required working around scheduled meeting and working quietly. A true test of adversity.
This project in a historic house using Bradbury & Bradbury papers was created entirely by the homeowner and the installer which not typical of B & B jobs. Many areas required extensive wall repair to the loose plaster. Using her specialty skills, Shelly engineered and balanced the ceiling, borders, corners, friezes, and wall fill to create a beautiful space.
A simple Gracie vinyl mural install turned into an engineering challenge when the drawings submitted by the designer did not take into account the powder room consisted of three separate rooms. Instead it was drawn to begin the panels in one corner and follow the peripheral walls around as if it were only one room. After four hours of reengineering, the placement of the panels (ranging in width from 4” to 38”) was adjusted and the mural went up like a dream. As an added handicap, this was a last minute addition to an out-of-the-country project, “Hello? yes, the plane boards in 45 minutes to go back home. Sure, we can stay and install your Gracie”! Materials were overnighted to complete the project.
Balancing the room with an alcove and installing Lyford Trellis pattern from Quadrille was a challenge for this seasoned installer. Using the back wall of the niche as an anchor, Steven worked out from the left and right inside corners. The ceiling part of the niche included an HVAC access panel door was a test to his focus and patience due to the door hanging down while the paper was wrapped in the access area. Although they ended up the three kill points, the pattern was so busy it was only noticeable to the trained eye.
Straightforward install; artist painted mural in elevator, 3 panels, 3 walls. All seemed to be going well until it was realized the artist neglected to state they were working in charcoal and the sealer used was a Harry Homeowner clear spray (i.e. Krylon) AND they forgot to match the pattern of the border in the corner. Shelly pasted the wall and using thin cotton gloves to prevent smearing carefully installed the panels. But alas, the pesky elevator door! Repeated up and down travels were necessary to install the final panel behind the accordion fold elevator door. Up and down, up and down…
This project involved 175 square feet of watercolor canvas being installed in a home’s winding hall. The canvas was divided into 3 pieces: right, middle-alcove and left side of the winding wall area. The canvas was laid out, measured, trimmed according to the plan for the alcove wrap and carefully installed being sure not to get moisture onto the watercolors. The work of a true professional!
The designer wanted this powder room ceiling (3 sections) covered with Maya Romanoff reflective paper. The ceiling in the water closet was simple, the curved entry a bit more difficult, and the vanity area the most difficult. This 12’ high ceiling was in four sections that rise and meet in the center. Working around an existing sink and onyx back wall each piece was table trimmed and custom fitted to each section. Congratulations, Sandra.
Specialty 1st Place – Larry Cohen of Vango, Inc. - Northeast Region Dining Room Mural
This project involved hanging a square mural in a crooked space. The mural consisted of boxes that were measured and submitted. A miniature was sent back with the wrong measurements. Although the installer sent back changes for the original measurements, they were never corrected and the wrong full sized mural was sent. Finding the walls were crooked added to the challenge. There were beams on each wall that differed in size but the same sized pieces were sent for all walls. Larry cut strips and re-hung them, cheated and glued back lines to make the mural work and in the end made a crooked space look square!
A show house and a designer stepping out of their comfort zone - a triumphant challenge for this installer! Custom hand-dyed silk panels installed in the stairway of this 1800’s home could only be produced in 9' lengths. The walls ranged from 17" headers to 20' stairway panels. Rick successfully laminated pieces together to fill in the void for a continuous pattern. Full panels were dry hung and the overlap from the fill panel carefully trimmed out following the pattern successfully tricking the eye into thinking it was on full panel. With only scraps remaining, the AC returned was covered. Two people and three day equaled great reviews from the press, other designers and plaque for Ric’s wall.
Specialty Honorable Mention –Bill Kraves of Bill Kraves Wallcovering Installations – West Region Unbacked Fabric Installation – 18' High Stairhall
In his 45 years of wallcovering installation, Bill claims this was one of the most challenging jobs. Unbacked cotton fabric was trimmed to 48 inches so the patterns would match, rolled onto cardboard tubes (kind you use for mailing) and dry hung using a mix of wheat paste and Evans heavy-duty clear paste. With a crew of three, the staircase with all of its curves proved to be the hardest part of a job where everything was difficult. The project occurred about twenty or more years ago, so Bill has forgotten how many yards of fabric was used. Believe it or not, but that put Bill in his 60’s when the job was completed!
First Place Craftsmanship Awards
Company: VanGo, Inc. City, State: Brooklyn, NY Title: Dining Room Mural
Steven Kaye, C.P.
Company: Paper Craft Interiors, Inc. City, State: Algonquin, IL Title: Management Office Space
Category: Small Spaces
Shelly Wilkins, C.P.
Company: Walls, Etc. City, State: Westminster, MD Title: It Had Its Ups and Downs
Shelly Wilkins, C.P.
Company: Walls, Etc. City, State: Westminster, MD Title: Prep Walls then Measure Twice…No Three Times
Second Place Craftsmanship Awards
Company: Ric Fisher Wallcovering City, State: Madisonville, LA Title: Hand Dyed Silk Fabric for Show House
Company: King's Custom Wallcovering City, State: Keller, TX Title: Pi in the Sky
Category: Small Spaces
Michael Baughman, C.P.
Company: Baughman Wallcovering City, State: Oceanside, CA Title: The Winding Hall