The Berkshires proudly hosts an eclectic group of residents and visitors with an abundance of tastes and passions. Two artists, who came to the Berkshires over twenty years ago, embrace that broad spectrum of Berkshire life, and have used it to inform their businesses. Peter Fasano and his wife Elizabeth Hamilton each boast a collection of luxurious fabrics and wallpapers that are treasured in homes throughout the US, including the White House.
All of their work is hand silk-screened, in subtle colors mixed from natural, earth-based and water soluble pigments at their environmentally friendly workplace on Route 7 in Great Barrington, MA. There they employ about fifteen Berkshire artists who help to create some of the most subtle and beautiful fabrics and wall coverings (many with hand painted detail) available to decorators today
Samples of their patterns can be found in the best showrooms nationwide. The newer Elizabeth Hamilton Collection, introduced just over one year ago, has a slightly Bohemian edge and showcases designs both fresh and chic reflecting an intimate relationship with the world outdoors.
Peter Fasanos designs, while intimate and personal, draw more directly from objects observed in the world around him. Animals, flowers, geometrics and whimsical patterns of all kinds can be found on hemp, linen, cottons, silks and other soft textiles. Does Oprah have a favorite flower? Is Tiger Woods looking for a celebration of greens? Fasano and Hamilton thrive on custom orders that require just the perfect fabric.
A visit to the workshop reveals a train of long tables extending thirty-one yards. Initially two artists move down the long sides of the tables applying one color at a time through a photographically etched screen. Once the paint has dried, another pair of artists works their way down the long table applying a new color. The pattern slowly comes to life with each application.
Those of us who live in the Berkshires can purchase fabric overruns, memo samples and display panels at a discount and without a decorator from the small store at the Great Barrington Antiques Center.