Historic Downtown Buffalo comes to life through Red Disk’s Queen City Toile wallpaper! This wallpaper boasts several different varieties in color and style as it captures the spirit of Buffalo via its well-known architectural achievements. Toile wallpaper is making a comeback in the American home, adding a sense of regal elegance to any living space. Derived from the French language and originating in the 1700s, toile translates as “linen cloth” or “canvas” and is typically a repeated pattern depicting a pastoral scene. Local artists at Red Disk studio provide a fresh take on this vintage look.
“If you can dream it, you can do it,” believes founder Traci Ackerman. Only someone who loves Buffalo as much as she does would be able to make Red Disk studio the success it is today. Ever-expanding, Red Disk takes on influences from both classical and modern artists, most notably, late world-renowned artist Charles Burchfield.
Arguably one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Burchfield’s mark can be felt when viewing any number of the pieces at Red Disk studio. Best known for creating romantic and impressionist watercolor paintings of nature and small-town life, Burchfield gained prestige in 1936 after Life Magazine dubbed him “one of America’s ten greatest painters.” His roots and influences are firmly planted in Buffalo.
Traci Ackerman, a former art teacher, is almost as passionate about making Burchfield’s work
accessible to the public again as she is about the city she calls home. “One of the pieces to our mission is to choose artists that have a story. When we think about bringing in artists, whatever their story is, that’s what we feel really connects to our wallpaper designs. We have a rich architectural history, and we want to celebrate that.”
There is no greater example than illustrator Karen Matchette, the artist behind the top selling Queen City Toile. A graduate of Buff State, Matchette honed her skills for thirteen years as an apprentice under the tutelage of “Dennis the Menace” artist Hank Ketcham in San Francisco. Says Matchette, “He was such a master of illustrating, in just a few lines being able to tell a story. I learned from the best.” She has also contributed work for famous comic strips such as “The Flintstones,” “For Better or For Worse” and “Scooby Doo.” With an impressive attention to detail, Matchette weaves architecture and home interior design together like no other.
Paying homage to the city of Buffalo and its vibrant cultural history, Matchette invokes a time gone by with her unique artistry. Queen City Toile depicts timeless Buffalo hallmarks such as: Buffalo City Hall, Guaranty Building, Statler Towers, Richardson Olmsted Campus, Buffalo Central Terminal, Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, Delaware Park, and Marcy Casino. Celebrating Buffalo’s golden age, her illustrations bring these historical gems into area homes.
The inspiration came from turn-of-the-century Buffalo. The years between 1870 and 1900 were known as Buffalo’s “Gilded Age.” While the nation was coming out of the grips of Civil War, Buffalo was quickly becoming an epicenter for booming new industries ready to revitalize the economy. This resulted in significant cultural changes and new contributions to the Buffalo community such as architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s majestic “Martin House.”
Queen City Toile is produced by Red Disk with its hand silkscreen process and printed with C2 paint created locally in Buffalo. This silkscreening processes can be viewed in action on Red Disk’s website! In essence, it is an intricate method of transferring complex designs and patterns onto fabric. While every customer can pick and choose from an assortment of colors, Red Disk’s diverse pattern options takes the “guesswork out of deciding” according to Ackerman, noting that wallpaper designs range from the enchanting, architecturally inspired “Queen City Toile” to the captivating, nature-inspired art of Cassandra Ott.
Passionate, local artists like Matchette offer a vantage point that is distinctly Buffalo and yet another reason to consider shopping locally for home décor. Drawing upon both the past and present, their pieces are art, thoughtful and uplifting, to be displayed on the walls of area homes. Karen Manchette and Red Disk Studio are proud to honor Buffalo, the city they call home.