Nama Rococo Wallpaper

We have long admired artist Karen Combs’ lyrical swirls, doodles, and doodads that artfully land on her hand-done sheets of wallpaper. Her studio, Nama Rococo, which recently re-located from the Berkshires to the Hudson River Valley, turns out sheets of acid free French paper, hand painted and hand printed with artist’s pigments. For this month’s Deconstruction, Design Milk gets a glimpse of the printing process for Nama Rococo’s new Amsterdam pattern, from testing to the final product, complete with styled photo shoot. But first, if you’re curious about the quirky name, “nama” means “raw” in Japanese, and of course, one look at the designs and you see where rococo comes from!

Playing around with rough drawings. This is the first image for what will eventually become Nama Rococo’s Amsterdam wallpaper pattern.

Creating the printing screen requires several steps.

We mix all our own colors and inks using the best artist’s materials.

We hand paint the background color (even white) onto each and every sheet. Here are sheets ready for drying being placed on the drying rack.

We always test out color ideas for each wallpaper pattern. Here are the color idea tests for Amsterdam.

Printing color tests.

The printed tests.

Here’s our printing screen storage area.

And the ink washout stand.

Finally, we are on to printing final sheets.

A perfect printed sheet of Amsterdam in China Blue.

We trim the edges off each sheet. Here are the scraps, and a friend.

Here, many sheets of Nama Rococo Sixty-Eight pattern is laid out so the installer can preparing for it to go up on the wall.

A final installation of Amsterdam in Tone Purple, all styled up for an official photograph.

Marni Elyse Katz is a Contributing Editor at Design Milk. She lives in Boston where she contributes regularly to local publications and writes her own interior design blog, StyleCarrot.