Sample Introduction to Decorative Arts Techniques Curriculum
INTRODUCTION TO DECORATIVE ARTS TECHNIQUES
Week 1: Basic Studio Practices and Surface Preparation
Introduces the general protocols, procedures, and functions of a professional decorative artisan studio. Covers the properties of various surfaces (new wood, painted wood, metal, sheetrock, masonry) and the tools, materials and techniques (sanding, stabilizing, base coating) needed to prepare each to accept coatings and finishes.
Week 2: Basic Painting Techniques – Part I: Color Theory
Covers the properties of paint, and proper methods of mixing and applying paints taught via the creation of color wheels and grey-scale charts, and other visual matrices.
Weeks 3: Basic Painting Techniques – Part II: Glazing
Covers the properties of paint mediums, glazes, and pigments and how to combine them to create specific effects. Techniques include sponging, strié, stippling, flogging, and combing.
Week 4: Transfer Techniques
Covers the methods of copying and manipulating designs and images (including “pouncing” with graphite powder and the use of grids) used in the creation of murals, trompe l’oeil, and other representational treatments.
Week 5: Faux Finishing – Part I: Wood Grain
Covers an introduction to various woods used in decorative arts and how to simulate the appearance of select wood types using various faux painting tools and glazing techniques.
Week 6: Faux Finishing – Part II: Marble
Covers an introduction to various marbles used in decorative arts and how to simulate the appearance of select marble types using various faux painting tools and glazing techniques.
Week 7: Stamps, Stencils, and Block Printing
Covers the creation and application of stamps and stencils as methods of hand printing on paper for use in custom wallpaper design.
Week 8: Troweled Finishes
Covers the application of troweled finishes including “Venetian plaster” and stucco; mixing and tinting materials; manipulating and burnishing surfaces to achieve various finishes.
Week 9: Gilding
Introduces the history, methods, and materials used in the application of metal leaf to various surfaces in the decorative arts. Covers the application of composite gold and aluminum leaf to flat wood panels and carved moldings.
Week 10: Portfolio Preparation
Covers the final preparation of decorative finish samples for professional presentation (measuring, trimming, masking, arrangement, digital photography) and interactive mock-portfolio review session.
In addition to practical techniques, the Introduction to Decorative Arts Techniques program provides job readiness skills essential for trainees’ successful transition back to employment. Assessments of attendance, punctuality, ability to listen and focus, and attitude take place weekly.