Look at the wall in front of you: is it dark or bright? Textured or flat? A coloursmith could have been the one who decided what that wall in your room looks like. Clare Scanlan from Scanlan & Makers is someone who does exactly that, mixing colours and painting walls to create the perfect base to decorate. She invited our Interior Design students to her Collingwood studio to teach them what being a coloursmith entails and why colour-mixing skills can make your average interior designer unique.
While Clare started in Fine Arts, ten years at Porter’s Paints, a company that sells handmade paints and wallpapers, led her to the world of artisan painting as she learned how different colour combinations can create a harmonious space.
“Scanlan & Makers is the culmination of everything I’ve done,” she says. “I started it to fill the gap where someone wants not just the product of the application, but they want something that’s between an artwork and a house paint finish.”
Students tuned into their artistic side during the workshop by practicing layering finishes and decorative painting, and discovered that even dabbing paint with a simple cloth can give walls an extra flair. Clare believes that with this hands-on knowledge in tow, Collarts students will be able to offer their clients a firsthand individual experience, rather than just picking a paint can from the store.
“You can use colour-mixing as part of your tool belt and as a higher degree of skill and success, starting to create spaces people haven’t seen before,” she explains. “You have a true understanding of what the result is going to be in a meaningful way and you can take your clients on that journey."
For those who didn't know about coloursmiths beforehand, Clare hopes they will come away from the exclusive workshop with an understanding of artisans in the local community, such as herself, who collaborate with interior designers to achieve amazing finishes. But beyond that, there is one other thing she hopes the students won't forget.
"Colour is one of the absolute most vital elements of interior design," she grins. "Even if that colour is white."