Thursday, March 21, 2013


Any food photographer knows that the search for interesting surfaces is an ongoing quest. I scour thrift stores, antique shops, salvage yards, and etsy constantly. However, some of my favorite surfaces have been found on the beach or in someone's heap of recycling. You just never know when you are going to come across the perfect piece of chippy painted wood or scratched up metal.

I came across this amazing place online called SurfaceArchive, which rents out all types of surfaces to photographers. Brilliant!! And yet they are located in New York. :(
Unfortunately, we don't have anywhere like that in Seattle, but it gave me an idea. My friend, Nik, is an incredible artist and metal sculptor and is constantly creating interesting textures in his own work. I reached out to him and asked if he could create some custom surfaces for me-- some in plaster, some with weathered wood, and some with various types of metal.

Nik recently came by the studio to drop off the first ones he'd made-- his "test" bunch, as he called them. I am SO thrilled-- the plaster samples he made are beautiful!! He took 3 light-weight panels and created different surfaces on each side, so they are all double-sided. You can see the results below.
Most of these are combinations of plaster, concrete and dye.

I can't wait to see what he does for me next!

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Anonymous said...

I am so JEALOUS! These are awesome! Don't you make some your own surfaces, too, Clare? Would love to see a how-to :)

michele said...

these are fabulous!! i am a new food photographer/blogger and i'm having a very hard time finding surfaces to photograph food on. I'm limited to my butcher block island and counter at the moment and I don't have space for huge pieces of stone. these samples you've put up are perfect! i'm jealous :)

Clare said...

Michele-- I am encouraging him to make this into a business, so I'll keep everyone posted!

leeksoupblog-- I have made my own surfaces but haven't been overly thrilled with the results. I have a feeling Nik's wood surfaces will have a lot more texture and depth than mine did. We shall see! :)

AmyRuth said...

Well Bravo Clare.... a budding new business. Better buy some more baggies for your tax receipts. he he I love these and since I'm smack in the middle, what would be the approximate cost for a piece like this? ha ha

Beautiful and I can't wait to see photos.

Valery Rizzo said...

Surface Archive is in Manhattan, No? where are they in Brooklyn?

Clare said...

Hey Valery! I could have sworn they were in Brooklyn but, apparently, I am wrong! You live there so you are definitely the authority. :)

Going to change that right now...


Emma Galloway said...

Love these Claire, you lucky thing! xx

Sherylita said...

I would pay just for the pictures here, seriously. Those are nice textures. Consider selling them for that purpose.