Sunday, February 20, 2011

A note from the artist



The art of tradition...something that our team member Geoff Libonati- founder of Romantiques- knows all about. And after 25 years in the business, he should!

When I was first introduced to the team at Romantiques and entered the art department to get our art on furniture concept underway- I immediately became aware of the passion and love for antiques (and any type of furniture now that I mention it) that Geoff has. Known as a Master Polisher, specialising in all aspects of French polishing and antique restoration- Geoff takes great pride in doing things the traditional way- the way craftsmen and furniture artisans have been doing it in Europe for hundreds of years.

And this is why it's so important to relay the fact that here at Romantiques, we're not just all about the wild and wonderful when it comes to furniture- whether they be client's pieces or our own. We still embrace the traditional aspects of restoration...polishing, refinishing and breathing life back into beautiful antique pieces in need of some love. Just ask Geoff, his amazing practice and skill speaks for itself.

Some of my favourite moments in the Romantiques studio have been when clients have arrived to view their finished pieces. Seeing the look of wonder on their faces when they enter our studio- the 'vortex' of creativity, as it has once been called- is something that I always look forward to. Pass the louder pieces in the front, and arrive in a workshop harking back to those artisan days in the streets of Venice, where Geoff creates the magic. And it's not just the traditional methods that impress, it's the traditional materials. Between work on our newer ranges, preparing pieces for artwork, painted finishes, and his French polishing and refinishing, Geoff still finds time to make all of his materials...by hand. Waxes, polishes, stains, effect mediums like crackle and craze...all prepared in-house. Geoff even mixes his own paints to achieve those unique colours on our painted finishes. And all of this? Done entirely for a lifelong love of the craft, and the clients of course.

Which brings me to another aspect of the business...our client/craftsman relationship. Geoff has always stated that the best collaborations come from clients who enjoy working with us, just as much as we enjoy working with them. This sort of easy, enjoyable relationship produces the best work. And while the studio is often full to the brim with work, Geoff will never turn down the chance to meet every client's expectations, or forge new collaborations. There's never a want of something creative to do at Romantiques, let me tell you!

To sum it all up, I'll use a phrase that I've associated with what Romantiques- and Geoff's practice- represents. The breadth of knowledge, the height of quality and the depth of experience.



- Caldonia