Groin Ceiling Week: Ann Onusko
Groin Ceiling Week begins today and I could not be more excited! Groin ceilings are a type of vaulted ceiling where two barrel vaults intersect at ninety degree angles. They are also referred to as Cross Vault ceilings. Vaulted ceilings have been traced as far back as Ancient Egypt and they are more aesthetically pleasing than the standard ceilings seen more commonly today. However, today’s artist was inspired by their use in Europe. We start our week with an homage to Italy from Ann Onusko of Great Lakes Decorative Arts Studio in Ohio.
Ann Onusko has a well-traveled life. Throughout her adventures, she’s seen groin ceilings like these (please click to enlarge):
When a boutique cafe named Isola Bella opened, she found herself with a unique opportunity to incorporate her love of Europe into her work. There were two groin ceilings and each was going to have a different finish. She had four weeks from start to finish — a tall order since it included a slew of work on other surfaces as well. As she said when I spoke to her: “It was sooo much fun!” I think we can all relate to that statement!
Here’s the ceiling when Ann & crew took over from the plaster guy. You can sneak a peek at her sample board here.
She first primed and basecoated the ceiling twice. Then she started on three custom-colored plaster layers: ochre and lapis blue for the first and the subsequent ones were white and lapis blue. The designs were both free-handed and helped along with mylar stencils they cut. The ceiling was overglazed at the end to tie all the layers together and knock back the brightness.
The second ceiling was referred to as the “Chocolate Dome” as they sold Marie Bell chocolates at the counter located under it. The ceiling came together with several layers of products. It featured vignettes in the centers of each side and the four corners.
Here are close-ups of two of the vignettes (please click to enlarge). See one of the corners here.
I love projects like these! Ann has two beautiful blogs: Rose et Lis and the daily PlumSiena, the latter which has a Facebook Fan Page. Please be sure to check those out — she has wonderful sensibilities and frequently includes her love of gardening among them. She can also be found via her website, Great Lakes Decorative Arts Studio, in which she currently teaches private classes and will have a curriculum start up again in the Summer. Thank you, Ann, for starting our Groin Ceiling Week in a beautiful, creative way! Tomorrow we explore various artists — and a company that made beautiful ornamental work more accessible for our industry.