Saturday, 20 April 2013

Kitchen Art: Knife + Fork

The knife and fork artwork that hangs in our kitchen has been an on-going project for me. Over a year ago, Chris and I were out shopping in Stratford when Chris spotted something that caught his eye: two graphic art pieces hung together, a knife and a fork.

The piece was obviously computer printed and mass produced, but otherwise it was pretty cool. Chris was excited about this kitchen/ cooking inspired art and I was pretty sure that I could recreate something very similar, so the following week I got to work on the project.

The following is a little photo essay of how the pieces have evolved.

First, this is a picture of the art that Chris saw in the shop:

...pretty cute, right? We may have purchased them, but red's really not my colour, and the faux distressing was kinda cheesy. And then there's the obvious question, why buy what you can make?

The knife and fork were printed on what looked like barn boards or floor boards (all faux, of course). So for my project, I decided to stick with a similar look, but make it for real. I went to our local Re-Store (a shop that sells odds and ends left over at the end of contracting jobs. Think odd ceramic tiles, old doors, lone windows, light fixtures etc). 

I was lucky enough to score a cheap box of bamboo hardwood flooring. I locked three floor boards together and Chris further secured them with a perpendicular piece across the back.


The next step was priming the floor boards with a latex primer. That gave me a good base to work from. I did a few sketches of forks and knives in my sketch book, and eventually I sketched the outline of each shape on to the boards. I used acrylic and latex paints for these pieces. I worked on the pair over a few weeks time. It was a lot of fun painting silver ware, not my usual subject matter! For the 'background' I used mostly latex paint that we had left over from painting household furniture. I sanded the paint after it had dried and also 'dry brushed' the paint to create a worn look.

Below are the finished pieces. I painted the background the same light heritage green that I had used on our dining room hutch. 

This is the art in our Stratford apartment.

We hung them where the sitting area met the kitchen (since the kitchen itself was quite small and had minimal wall space).

So, you're probably thinking, why am I sharing all this old news? Well, we have been working on our kitchen in the Toronto apartment (to see the latest photos, go to Kitchen- First Look) and we finally decided where we could hang the knife and fork. These are pieces which I made specifically for our old home, and even though we love them, it was difficult to figure out how to make them work in our new home, with our new aesthetic.  The Toronto kitchen is less country/ homey and more clean/ white/ simple- I call it Vintage Scandinavian. Anyway, it finally occured to me that to make these pieces work, I would simply have to re-do the background colour. I went with my new best friend, white, and everything worked out just fine. Take a look: 

I'm also excited to share a few more photos of our progress in the kitchen:

I enjoyed doing this project, but for anyone who wants to get this look without hauling out the paint cans, I suggest you check out HouseHold Words, an etsy shop dedicated to vinyl wall decals and lettering. I think they've got a lovely flatware graphic, to go directly to it click here.

There's no doubt that these silverware graphics are hot right now, would you buy one? Would you DIY one? Let me know what you think.

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