Tamara Childs Hand-Gilded Glassware Strikes Gold as the Holiday Gift that Lives on to become an Heirloom
Perfectly at home in a Saudi Royal palace as in a suburban household, Tamara Childs gilded leaf designs set off any decorating style brilliantly with cutting-edge metallics—uniquely hand-crafted piece by piece.
Seattle, WA (November 4, 2013)--According to Harper’s Bazaar and ElleDecor magazines, the keyword in 2014 home décor and tableware this year is metallics: gold, silver, copper and a composite of all create a new elegance for the holiday home. Topping the list of must-have metallic decor are hand-gilded dining accessories and giftware from Seattle’s own designer and master gilder Tamara Childs. Already internationally known for her exquisite hand-gilded tableware, Childs is introducing a new line of metallic gilded designs. Stunning red variegated metal leaf glows on Childs’ hand-gilded works of functional art for the table.
Tamara Childs has been creating museum-quality everyday tableware since 1991. Her start came after she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design and was enjoying a successful career as a stylist and art director in commercial photography in Seattle. Always an artist at heart, one day she experimented with the gilding process on her grandmother’s antique chair. The process ignited a new passion for Childs: she left her job and immersed herself in creating artful pieces that work in the world of luxury home décor. The rest is history.
Even as an ancient art, gilding thin metal leaf on surfaces as a means of adornment delighted its recipients—as gifts, showpieces or as everyday tableware. In her unique style, Tamara Childs continues this timeless tradition of creating hand-gilded pieces of table art made for a lifetime of enjoyment and use.
Initially, Childs sold her hand-gilded glassware at one of two small exclusive craft shows in Seattle. Because her products were so unique, demand for them quickly grew. “It’s been a runaway train ever since,” smiles Childs, founder of Childs Studio. “That’s why I had to pull my whole family into the business with me!”
“The Tamara Childs brand literally sells itself. Ever since we offered Tamara her first trunk show her pieces has NEVER slowed here — we’ve consistently sold out of her ever-popular gilded tabletop ware and accessories,” say Jim Burnett, retail manager and buyer for LCR Collection in Connecticut, a full service design and decoration firm with a retail shop selling specialty home furnishings.“What sets the Tamara Childs brand apart from others is that ALL pieces are made right here in the United States – each piece is touched and created by Tamara herself. Our customers LOVE that – whether they are looking for wedding gifts, elegant tabletop, holiday, or general home décor.”
Mother / son artistic team co-create all Tamara Childs gilded pieces Childs’ son Adam became an ideal collaborator. After attending the School of Architecture at Arizona State University, he received a degree from the Art Institute of Seattle with a focus in modern residential design and painting. Adam’s math background coupled with his architecture training proved to be the perfect combination to design size, shape, and spec work before any final brushwork is applied to the glassware. His technical prowess also led to the elimination of outsourcing glass. Now most of the glassware is created exclusively for the Childs Studio.
Mother and son still remain the only artisans for the Tamara Childs brand. A fact that’s daunting if you consider Tamara Childs hand-gilded housewares and gifts are now sold in over 700 shops, museums and galleries worldwide.
Another family member, Lawrence Childs, Tamara’s husband, brings an extensive background in international marketing, finance and logistics management to the studio. As the Tamara Childs brand grew to its place in over 700 stores and showroom shelves worldwide, Lawrence brought his myriad skills of building and growing businesses home where he leads the growing creative enterprise that is Childs Studio.
Childs gilding dazzles both on the table and as impressive gifts
Imagination and creativity are the cornerstone of their business, and every piece from creation to finish-work to shipping goes through Tamara’s and Adam’s hands—at least twice. It’s this very intimate relationship with each piece, according to Childs, that sets them apart from their competitors.
Both Tamara and son, Adam, collaborate on all designs and patterns. To create their custom pieces, fine sheets of gold, silver or copper leaf--in an expanding pallet of treatments and colors--is applied over a variety of tableware, home accessories, and more in individually crafted designs. The pieces are then hand polished and lacquered.
“The fact that we do each piece by hand right here in the USA, that every piece is hand-crafted, gilded, finished and packed—every piece literally goes though our hands twice, nobody does this kind of volume, with this kind of manual care,” says Childs, “It’s what makes us unique in the marketplace and reflects in the quality and the beauty of our products.”
The Tamara Childs brand reputation for exquisite craftsmanship is widespread among the home décor and decorating industries. Burnett sees Tamara Childs’ giftware literally fly off the shelves.
“Showing and selling the Tamara Childs brand is fantastic for us because she not only does 100 different hand-gilded pieces but in eight different colors from silver, gold, copper, northern lights, red variegated and so many more,” says Burnett. “That launches her into 800 items – and that pleases just about every customer we have. She’s definitely a brand leader in our showroom.”
Childs brand internationally acclaimed Childs travels the world’s internationally trafficked gift and tableware shows in cities like New York City, Atlanta and Las Vegas. As a result, her collection can be found in shops, museums and galleries throughout the US, Moscow, Madrid, Lisbon and Mexico City, Hong Kong, the Caribbean, South America, Panama and Japan. The shows keep her on top of the latest trends in the market and expose her to new possibilities for metallics.
One show in particular proved to be fruitful for Childs. A buyer for the Saudi Royal Family stopped by Childs’ studio display at one international show and bought thousands of dollars worth of glassware and decorative accessories to help stage a personal engagement party. Clearly she had a well-trained eye and appreciation for one-of-a-kind custom-made designs. For the non-royal, Childs’ products are affordable for everyday use.
Childs agrees this is the year of metallics, especially for the holidays, and her work is expected to be at the forefront. Her hand-gilded designs have graced homes, even palaces for over 20 years. And as she exposes herself to new trends and processes, Tamara Childs, the brand and the artist will continue to offer the finest in hand-gilded gifts, tableware and decorative accessories.
A perusal through the Childs’ website, www.tamarachildsgilder.com will introduce you to the studio’s richly gold, silver and metal gilded bowls, glassware, plates, trays and decorative accessories. All items are food-safe hand washable (don’t soak) in mild soap.