PaperCity Magazine

July/August 2019- Houston

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66 F or artist Liz Marsh, Paris is a constant spark of inspiration. "It's an indelible part of my soul and a huge influence on my art," she says. She worked for six years there, exporting antiques — her other passion — and hosting touring excursions through France. Now as an artist working out of her 1939 bungalow in West University, Marsh creates exquisite verre églomisé (reverse painting on glass) and decoupage lamps using 18th-century French techniques. "Marie Antoinette and her ladies-in-waiting did decoupage as they sat around, clipping their Watteaus and Fragonards," Marsh says. Unlike the Queen of France, Marsh doesn't deface priceless paintings for her work, but she does use high-quality reproduced images from her vast collection of antique prints. Her Eden collection of lamps has a lavish garden of serpents, butterflies, and botanicals, all taken from prints discovered on travels. Her newest decoupage lamps derive from breathtaking 18th-century French copper engravings of parrots. Printed centuries ago on natural- plant-fiber paper, the images are remarkably preserved in insanely vivid colors, she says. Each lamp is a labor-intensive work of art, with hand- IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PORTRAIT ENMI YANG. turned bases by local artisans. For her decoupage collections, Marsh painstakingly cuts detailed images and adheres them to the inside of mouth-blown glass cylinders. It takes as many as 50 coats of paint to achieve the luscious background colors. For her verre églomisé lamps, she calls on iconic stripes inspired by awnings at the Palais-Royal and bold line drawings of faces, à la Jean Cocteau. Her Paris Now collection contrasts the splendor of 19th-century Haussmann-era apartments in sculptural white, black, and gray stoneware. The intricately designed white-plaster vines of Marsh's Old Money lamps remind her of ancient vines growing in Europe. While they are laborious to make, they are worth the wait. The lamps are created from seven separate plaster molds that must be rotated every two hours for two days to achieve perfection. Paint colors, handmade shades, and even cord colors are all customizable. She hand-paints paper and linen shades and has created vibrantly hued velvet shades to top her new collection of parrot lamps. Marsh is currently working on colorful geometric sculptures in the manner of Jean Dubuffet, using the same materials he used: carved extruded foam, plaster, and paint. Liz Marsh lamps and sculpture at Moxie,, and through the artist, "MARIE ANTOINETTE AND HER LADIES-IN-WAITING DID DECOUPAGE AS THEY SAT AROUND, CLIPPING THEIR WATTEAUS AND FRAGONARDS." — Liz Marsh Liz Marsh Liz Marsh lamps at Moxie

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