What Every Design Lover Should Know About The Alpha Workshops
It's time to shine a light on The Alpha Workshops. Modeled after such legendary design groups as the Omega Workshops (part of the Bloomsbury Group), the Weiner Werkstatte, the Bauhaus and the American Arts & Crafts Movement, The Alpha Workshops, founded in Manhattan in 1995, is dedicated to keeping the decorative arts alive. Yesterday, I visited their atelier for the first time and was astounded by what I saw and learned.
The Alpha Workshops' motto, "Creating Beauty. Changing Lives" says it all. They train and employ HIV-positive creatives in the art of verre eglomise, traditional, hand-rubbed Japanese lacquer known as "neguro nuri," hand blocked wallpaper and much, much more. Nothing beats preserving wonderful hand crafts while simultaneously providing dignified help to persons in need.
In addition to wallpaper, The Alpha Workshops offer all sorts of furniture (think consoles, chairs, screens, tables etc.) in gorgeous faux finishes like malachite, agate and tortoise shell among others.
Their lighting is unlike anything else I have seen. I was especially taken with their Eden Roc collection in gold gilt.
Frankly if you can dream it up, they can do it. You can customize every single aspect.
Acclaimed designer Celerie Kemble, who hosted the event with Sophie Donelson, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful, mentioned that she commissioned The Alpha Workshops to transform some cheap "granny" end tables she picked up on eBay by covering them in a malachite finish.
Now that's something I would like to try. Sounds gorgeous.
Photos of the "Pineapple" wallpaper and studio shots by Lynn Byrne for Decor Arts Now. All other photos from The Alpha Workshops.