Friday, September 18, 2009



Tuscany Wine Cellar

Something exciting is brewing! I have decided to give sculpture classes here at Woodloft starting in the summer of 2010. I have 10 full months to get everything in order. I must decide whether to teach only sculpture or add another class as well. Doll making or encaustic wax might work. There are many things I could teach, it is just deciding what will work best here at Woodloft.

Right now, my main concern is getting the Tuscany Suite in order. It was two separate bedrooms years ago, then a wall was taken down to make it into a two bedroom suite for my sons to live in (at different times)
Now, the suite is available once more and needs help.

Old gate from NYC

Just outside the door to the suite is a closet that fits under the steps. I turned it into a wine cellar. I found a wonderful ancient gate from NYC at Black Dog Salvage here in Roanoke and had them convert it into a door. Then I had my carpenter, Gary, carve out a small arched niche inside one of the walls to store ancient keys, an opera picture my brother, Jim, gave me and an old wine bottle.

Niche inside of wine cellar

Inside the cellar I placed very old clay wine shelves I purchased from a company in New England. Unfortunately, these shelves always seem to be empty. There I also placed a picture of a French lass clad in very little clothing. I found that particular picture at a flea market in France.

Clay wine holders

Picture of nude

I had Gary remove the top part of the door frame. I then used brick veneer to create an arch like the ones I have seen in Italy. I continued with the brick on the floor. All and all, I love the look of my wine cellar so much that I want to try to tie that look into the Tuscany Suite.

Gary added drywall to the top of the doorway and my son-in-law, Lewis, who is a rock wall mason, will rock the area between the two rooms with rock veneer. This is a difficult task in that both sides of the doorway must be done and the rock must be cut thin enough to stay on the wall.

Arched doorway where rock veneer will be placed

So far, the most exciting find for the room has been an old twin bed frame I found at the flea market. I was elated when the fellow who sold it to me said, “This came out of some woman from Italy’s basement. She brought it all the way over here years ago.” The headboard actually has wooden rosettes carved into it. The footboard has brass and wooden legs. It was covered with dirt when I found it and the asking price was only $20.! I said I wanted it immediately without even thinking of what a chore it would be to clean it. So far, it is taking a bit of elbow grease to get it into shape but I know eventually it will help make the Tuscany Suite look like an authentic Italian bedroom.

Italian headboard with carved wooden rosettes

I also found an old wooden wardrobe that looks as though it came from Spain or Italy but in actuality, it is of Early American vintage. I was going to add a bas –relief into the four panels on the front but when I had it delivered, it looked like it was made for this room, as is. I won’t touch it.

Old Spanish or Italian looking wardrobe

There was a screen I had built many long years ago sitting in my studio just waiting for the right application. I decided to lug it downstairs to the suite and I will either paint or fresco four scenes from Italy on the front.

Screen, ready for painting or fresco

It would be fun to have International students here at Woodloft. I could show them our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain dream town of Roanoke, and all the natural attractions here. Actually, students from the States might also love being in Roanoke and staying at Woodloft. I will make the class available to the first four students who apply, whether from Japan, Italy or even California. When I finish ironing out all the details for the class I will create a little video describing it.

I’m trying to persuade chef Statton St. Clair into being our resident chef for the duration of the class. I’m also working out details for visiting artists and craftsmen and sight seeing tours we will take. Watch for all the details soon and a progress report on the Tuscany Suite

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1 comment:

  1. Very cool - look forward to seeing the website!



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