Designer Denise Willard will Talk at Our June 4th Event

Hardwood Artisans is thrilled to have designer Denise Willard of Décor by Denise scheduled to talk at our Color + Cabinetry event on June 4th.  Denise will talk at 12pm in our Alexandria Showroom on the Psychology of Color.

Here are a few details on her talk:

Are you looking to update the colors inside your home this spring, but are overwhelmed by all the choices?  Do you get stuck making decisions on which color is most appropriate for each room in your home?  Do you want to learn one of the secrets professionals use in selecting just the right colors?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this seminar is for you.

Come learn about the principles behind the psychology of color.  Learn why red is most often used in dining rooms and blue in bedrooms.  Learn how your body reacts to certain hues and how a local design professional uses this knowledge in selecting the right colors for her clients.

Design by Décor by Denise. Built-in crafted by Hardwood Artisans

About Décor by Denise

Décor by Denise is a full service interior decorating firm located in Vienna, VA.   Denise Willard, owner and principal, has over a decade of experience transforming the homes of clients in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia.  Denise’s work was recently showcased in the 2011 DC Design House and she was selected as to be included in Home & Design’s 2011 “Top 100 Designers.”  Her work has also been showcased on ABC Affiliate, News Channel 8, and has been published in Home & Design Magazine, Washington Home & Garden, The Washingtonian, Elan and The Washington Post.  Denise is a regular columnist for Viva Tysons Magazine and is part of the Design Diva team for, a national lifestyle eMagazine.  Denise is the President-Elect for the DC Chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) and is an active member of the Vienna-Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the event please click here.

Contact information

Décor by Denise

340 Mill Street, NE, Suite F

Vienna, VA  22180




Phone: 703-714-7343

A Special Thank You to Benjamin Moore for Sponsoring the Event

A Potter with a Twist, Hadrian Mendoza

Here at Hardwood Artisans, we are always so excited about the local artists who display their artwork in our showrooms.  From woodturners to painters, they all possess amazing skills. The latest addition to our showrooms is a wonderful potter, Hadrian Mendoza.  Hadrian works out of the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center along with many of the artists who display their works in our showrooms.

Hadrian definitely has a way with manipulating the clay, turning it into fascinating bowls, trays, teapots and vases.  Of my favorite pieces are his round vases with square twisted necks such as the one below.

Twisted Bottle

Hadrian graduated from the Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA.  In 1994, at the age of 22, Hadrian took an elective course in college, and since then has had a passion for making pottery.  Originally from the Philippines, he went back in 1997 to rediscover his roots and learn about the craft along with the different techniques of pottery making in his homeland.  He came back to Virginia in late 2009 and since then has been working in his studio at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA.

Hadrian is inspired by the environment that surrounds him, whether it be near or far.  You will also find a lot of southeast Asian influence in his works, and in the simplicity of his forms, such as this stunning teapot set below:

Fish Tea Set handmade by Hadrian

Hadrian starts by kneading the clay to warm it up and to get rid of the air bubbles.  He then bisque fires the piece, a process which is important to potters if they want to use more decorative stains and glazes without risking damage or cracking of the pottery.  Below is a picture of Hadrian shaping the clay to make a tray:

Hadrian sculpting a tray at Lorton Workhouse Arts Center

He then adds his glaze and fires the piece again in temperatures as high as 1300 C (2372 F).  He will sometimes add a little salt to create more movement in the glaze.  After the kiln has cooled, he opens it and the process starts all over again.  The end result, is a magnificent piece of artwork such as this beautifully glazed bowl:

Hadrian is currently on the hunt for wood firing kilns in Virginia.  “As a potter”, he says, “the most important thing for me is the clay and the kiln.  Without clay, [you] can’t make anything.  Without a good kiln, the pieces can’t be finished the proper way.”  He is constantly on a journey, learning new things about the pottery-making scene locally and nationally, always appreciative of new challenges.

Hadrian’s beautiful pottery is on display at our Fairfax and Alexandria showrooms.  You can also see more of his artwork at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center or click here to be directed to his website.

Inspirational Art by Suzanne Clifford-Clark

Old paintings made new, or more like new paintings made old. Suzanne Clifford-Clark is a local painter who is inspired to do just that; bring that antique feeling into her works of art. Her motivation comes from traditional paintings and she uses the same age-old methods and tools to create art that will give you a feeling of nostalgia.

The Sliding Hour by Suzanne Clifford-Clark

The Sliding Hour by Suzanne Clifford-Clark

Suzanne has loved art since she was a child, and quickly became enthused in creating her own works. With a family that frequently moved, Suzanne took up the portable habit of drawing and it quickly became an activity that she enjoyed. Soon drawing escalated to painting, and a wonderful relationship was shaped.

We’re proud to showcase 16 of Suzanne’s paintings in our showrooms, all of which are available for sale. Suzanne is a noted equestrian artist, inspired by the gracefulness and muscles of a horse’s large form. When she paints horses, Suzanne tries to portray the individuality of these animals. She doesn’t remember exactly when she first painted a horse, but she is continually trying to improve by not only studying photographs of them, but also by spending time with her own horse. She studies their hair growth, the way their bodies move, even the personalities that many of them convey.

Horse #1 by Suzanne Clifford-Clark

Suzanne  enjoys working with paint; from the way you can apply it to a canvas with broad strokes and thick lines or loosely and light. She’s inspired by colors, the ever changing way you can mix two colors to make another, the different tones and brightness. However, despite the obvious love expressed for such art, painting is a skill that Suzanne sometimes has a love/hate relationship with. When you have such endless possibilities, she does occasionally find herself frustrated with the inability to find that perfect color effect, the details she’s looking for, or even the tone of the piece itself. Painting never leaves her bored, but it does require a couple steps back to reevaluate the art being expressed.

Late Day by Suzanne Clifford-Clark

To create such a beautiful piece, Suzanne starts by stretching a fabric over stretcher bars and tightly securing it. She then paints the first layer of her painting, a layer that is called imprimatura.  This layer consists of a single color that covers the whole surface, therefore making it easier to estimate the value of a stroke on a solid background.

Imprimatura Layer

The next step is emphasizing the subject of her piece with either charcoal or thinned paint. Suzanne has to wait for this layer to dry before continuing onto the next layer, which is painting from the general to the specific. This layer usually consists of two or three layers, both of which have to dry before she continues on. This step is when the details begin to form.

General to Specific

Suzanne’s work is a slow and deliberate process, which pulls from years of painting and centuries of tradition. She has accomplished the goal of creating the traditional and now has several paintings to prove such skill. If you want to see her beautiful paintings or contact Suzanne, you can visit her website or you can visit our Rockville, Alexandria, or Fairfax showrooms to see these gorgeous works in person!