I have been producing a variety of decorative home goods under the moniker of Why Girls Go Astray for over twenty years. I made and sold a wide diverse array of items before deciding to solely concentrate on a single craft: the practice of 18th- and 19th-century decoupage.
My interest in decoupage extends back to a childhood fascination with collage and assemblage art techniques. The Dada and Fluxus art movements made an indelible impression upon me, particularly the multiples produced by those artists. I‘ve been collecting antique lithographic illustrations and photos for over twenty-five years. I utilizes a variety of sources—from high- to low-brow—culled from flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores to digital downloads from some of very best academic archives in the world. The antique prints used in our merchandise (my preferred imagery aesthetic is from 1910 and prior) are from our ever-expanding collection of images.
Why Girls‘ will be releasing two new collections: “Matriarchs“ and “Joris Hoefnagel Constructing Letters“ on our website in March 2020. For the most up-to-date information on new releases, sales, and special discounts, we encourage you to follow us on Instagram or Facebook.
I specialize in two distinct craft techniques of decoupage. The first is a revival of a style that flourished in 18th century Italy. This form of “classic” decoupage (meaning this it the one that people tend to associate with the decoupage trend in the 1970s) consists of prints pasted onto furniture or other decorative items, and coated with cured resin. The second, “decoupage under glass,” is a variation of the ”Potichomania“ process (“potiche” meaning oriental vase and “manie” referring to mania). This technique began in mid-19th century England, and refers to decorating clear glass vases with cut-out prints, which are then coated with a clear sealant.
I have updated this traditional craft to produce our glass table trays and hanging wall flats.
I take great pride in carefully replicating centuries-old traditional techniques and skills in our products. I strive to create products that strike a balance between usefulness and aesthetic beauty. Central to the Why Girls‘ mission is my long-time love for taking a decorative craft, updating it to appeal to a broader audience, and making it available at an affordable price-point. This particular art form was only accessible to only the very wealthy in previous centuries, thus, I take great pride in offering affordable decorative home goods.
Side-note: The name of my company is derived from a specific primary source I came across while doing research. The article I was read posited the hypothesis that if “girls were allowed to access education, they would surely go astray." The irony that I was reading this while pursing my PhD was not lost on me, and I thought: “Oh, I'm going to take this sexist statement, flip the meaning, and use it for the name of my feminist business.” So I did. And I love it.
Why Girls Go Astray
Owner & Designer:
Ms. Andy Lowry
Why Girls Go Astray
Although the word “decoupage” is French, the art form originated in Italy. The craze for Chinese and Japanese screens, boxes, fans, trinkets, vases, et al. was so universal that importers could not possibly meet demand. Decorated lacquered items became a status symbol. Venetian decorators of the 18th century evolved the idea of getting the effect
of painted lacquer-ware by using cut engravings, which were affixed to painted
glass or glass, and then shellacked, creating a high gloss surface.
The popularity of decoupage popularity soon spread to France and
throughout Europe, and the decorating trend eventually made its way to
the United States in the 1900s.
Need a custom glass tray?
Why Girls regularly works with clients to produce custom trays.
Email for specs.
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