By Leigh-Jane Obermayer
Through her busy, International schedule, Sheelah Arthurs finds time for sharing one of her favourite past times with keen students of the Candles & Chalk workshops. I had the pleasure of visiting the Candles & Chalk Studios, in its beautifully serene setting, perfect for getting the creative paint juices flowing. That morning’s session hosted 5 students, each of which had brought along a piece of furniture to transform into their own masterpiece.
Candles and Chalk started a few years ago with the love of renovating old furniture and transforming rooms, with the help of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, into something personal and unique. Workshops are hosted from the Candle & Chalk’s delightful store and studio near Panorama Mall, the store is also the home of the ShaMouaee candles, hence the name “Candles & Chalk”.
Each workshop teaches an array of paint and finishing techniques ranging from simple painting to stencilling, decoupage, laser print, waxing to fabric dying using chalk paints, waxes and finishes.
The students each brought a piece of furniture to makeover in any style and colour they wished, no sanding or preparation work was required. What great ideas; transforming a child’s old toy box into a charming lounge side table, a plain old chair and tables into attractive furniture with unique personalised designs and colours.
Step one, deciding on the colours: matching and mixing the chalk paints to the perfect tones. The class worked as a team with Sheelagh’s guidance, all encouraging each other to experiment and go beyond their comfort zones, to choose daring and unusual mix of colours. Chalk Paint is so much fun to work with, the colours available in the Candles & Chalk studio are amazing, deep blues, vibrant greens many more vivid and dazzling.
Step two, choosing a pattern, design or technique. Here, some of the furniture had intricate carvings which made light work of the design stage. Gone were the children’s characters from the toy box after the first layer of paint, and the “old compound” style furniture colour replaced by Islamic patterns using the Studio’s own stencils.
If you’ve ever thought about renovating an old piece of furniture, obviously making sure it’s your own, or wanting to transform a dull, mundane room, painting, stencilling or transfers is an easy, inexpensive, fun way. Personally, when I need to get away from computer and phone screens, I grab a brush, a tin of chalk paint and hunt for a camel stool. The best thing I find about this relaxing pastime, if you make a mistake, simply paint over and start again.
Candles and Chalk workshops offer classes on a regular basis, with beginners and experienced students sharing ideas and experiences not just of painting but life in the magical kingdom. Sheelagh, having met her Saudi husband, raised children and made Riyadh her home, has many stories and experiences to share.
If you are interested in joining one of the workshops, purchasing products from the ShaMouaee range or simply want to find out more about working with chalk paint and stencils, Candles & Chalk would love to hear from you.
Facebook Messenger: @candlesandchalk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Whatsapp: 050 268 8354
Workshops Schedule for February/March