While perusing Craigslist a while back I came upon this carved wooden unicorn crest for $25. It is a bit over 3ft x 3ft. I was going to keep it as-is to hang over the entrance to the Library but it was a bit depressing. The wood had been stained and portions were painted but it looked dated. The gentleman I bought it from said it came from the home of a gentleman who belonged to the Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church, Opus Dei, which translates to "the work of God".
Click on the link to learn more.
After looking for inspiration online I came a cross this painted crest and fell in love!
Canadian Royal Coat of Arms
17th Century Coat of Arms from Christie's, in polychrome. Look at that patina!
Another polychrome Coat of Arms from Christie's.
Another from Christie's
I contacted Mona, of Providence Ltd.Design blog and asked for her opinion. She graciously responded promptly with advice to go ahead and paint the crest. If you haven't met Mona, please click on the link. She is beautiful inside and out! She is someone whose work I admire greatly.
This photo does not do the piece justice. The body of the crest is painted with Annie Sloan French Linen, the details are Annie Sloan Old White and a burgundy craft paint I had left from another project. I used Rub N' Buff Gold for the horns and Annie Sloan Clear and Dark Wax over the whole piece. Before I applied the glaze I sanded the piece thoroughly. The object was not to duplicate the inspiration pieces but to give it a similar quality.
What do you think? I will be hanging this over the entrance to the library once the rooms are painted. The library is off the front entry, whose ceilings are 18ft. tall. A lot of space to fill...or leave empty! I prefer to fill it!
For fun here are the many incarnations of this piece. I'm probably not done with it yet, either!
Before and After
I decided to inscribe the ribbon with the phrase, "ars gratia artis", which is Latin for "art is the reward of art". Seems fitting, no?
This project took three hours from beginning to end. I know I sound like an Annie Sloan sycophant but this paint really is all they claim it to be!
Thanks for stopping by! Have you found any good bargains lately? I'd love to hear about them!