Current Season: April 26 - May 5, 2019

Signs of the Times with Best Dressed Signs at Restoration Resources

While Boston, is known for its impressive architectural history, the city also has a rich sign history, dating back to the 19th century. Today, as well as years ago, hand painted, gilded signs and transoms are considered beautiful works of art that also make a statement about your home or business and communicate that you value the quality, detail and integrity of true craftsmanship. According to Jordan Kushins in her article in Fast Company titled, “Paying Tribute To Artists Who Hand-Paint Signs In A Digital Age”, “The time is certainly right for a renaissance, as consumer attentions turn to the importance of heritage and provenance, and businesses search for authenticity in a world beset by quick fixes and somewhat empty branding efforts. “ Sadly, there are a dwindling number of artists today who have the skills and patience, as well as an understanding of the steps, and techniques required to carry on the time honored tradition of historic sign painting. Fortunately, Josh Luke is a master sign painter and gilder who lives in Boston and is helping to bring this history back to life, creating beautiful gilded and hand painted signs that use the same techniques that have been passed down through generations.

As part of Artweek Boston, on May 3rd, from 4-6 pm, you will have a rare opportunity to attend an exclusive historic sign painting presentation and demonstration being held at Restoration Resources in Boston, led by Josh Luke, and Meredith Kasabian of Best Dressed Signs. Best Dressed Signs specializes in hand painted signs and murals, gold leaf, and custom lettering and design.  According to Kasabian, “The trick of adhering gold to window glass was a very closely guarded secret among sign-men in the 19th century which today can generally only be shared or passed on through participation in an apprenticeship system or attendance at a limited number of trade schools which are rapidly on the decline. With the 2011 closing of Boston’s historic Butera School of Art, one of the country’s last sign painting schools, the artistry of hand painted signs and gold leaf is in danger of dying out in this city. This is especially ironic, given that one of the most widely used glass gilding techniques the “Boston Style gild” which features matte gold centers, mirrored gold outlines, and a black outer outline, was derived from our city’s sign legacy. If you see any old gold leaf signs or transoms around the city, chances are they are done in this style. As part of the demonstration at Restoration Resources, Josh Luke will show how this technique is achieved and Meredith Kasabian will discuss a brief history of gold leaf on glass and explain why it should be the chosen method for anyone desiring gold leaf.

Restoration Resources is regarded as “New England’s Primary Source for Exceptional Antique Architectural salvage, Unique furnishings, and Vintage Artifacts” and like Best Dressed Signs shares a commitment to preserve the history, artistry and craftsmanship of items painstakingly made by hand, decades ago.  This event partnership enables attendees to explore the beautiful pieces salvaged from the past that are currently for sale in the store’s 7000 Sq. ft. retail showroom and warehouse while also getting a chance to see an exhibit of some of Josh’s work, and learn first hand the century old tradition of hand painted signs. Saturday’s event includes complimentary refreshments and takes place within Circa, the newly launched event venue at Restoration Resources that doubles as a second showroom, and is furnished with salvaged pieces such as a vintage bar, piano, and historical artifacts circa 1800.  Recently, Best Dressed Signs was commissioned to complete a hand painted gold leaf sign for Circa, which will be revealed the day of the event. As an added bonus, if you are interested in commissioning Best Dressed Signs to create a sign for your home or business, the company will be offering a 10% discount to attendees on the day of the event.

Also, the public is welcome to visit Restoration Resources during store hours throughout Artweek Boston and view some of the artwork and signs from Best dressed Signs which will be on exhibit for the week leading up to the event. To attend the demonstration, rsvp to  Free Parking is available.

Restoration Resources is located at 1946 Washington St., in Boston, Ma.  Phone is 617 542 3033.

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