MEET THE ARTIST: John Derian

Massachusetts native John Derian is a designer superstar and has been rightly called the "King of Decoupage". The Artful Hand Gallery has a new collection of John's decorative decoupage plates and paperweights including many beautiful florals, nautical and seashell designs. One of our new favorites is the oval plate with a vintage Boston Swan Boat scene. A couple of years ago I wrote about John for Cape Cod Magazine in which I tell the story of this unique artist and his attachment to Cape Cod. Download the article below:

MEET THE ARTIST: John Derian
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The view of Provincetown Harbor from the front sitting room of John Derian’s Commercial Street home is perfectly framed; it’s a lot like the composition of one of his scenic decoupage platters on display in his adjacent shop. The house is a showcase for Derian’s signature mix of antique and flea market finds combined with upholstered furniture of his own design. It is a retreat from his busy life as a designer and mer- chant in New York City, in a setting where he can slow down, and where, he says, “nature rules.”

Derian’s success consists of three celebrated stores in New York’s East Village, along with a seasonal store in Provincetown, a studio producing handmade decoupage objects sold in hundreds of stores and catalogs worldwide, and design collaborations with companies ranging from Target to France’s Astier de Villate and L.A.’s hip furniture company, Cisco Brothers. Derian’s stores and homes have been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor and Vanity Fair. And now there’s a dazzling coffee-table book, “John Derian Picture Book,” with a foreword by Vogue’s Anna Wintour. It’s a collection of 350 of Derian’s favorite images—18th- and 19th-century engravings, lithographs and ephemera he has used in his decoupage.

The store in Provincetown is a miniature version of his three in the East Village, with the same quirky collection of ceramics, glass, antiques


and textiles selected by Derian for their “beauty, charm, and wit” and connections to the past. Shopping in the store feels more like combing through the attic treasures of a globe-trotting and eccentric great aunt and uncle. There are quilts made from vintage saris, the stunning paper flowers of Livia Cetti, Carrara marble fruit, batiked linens by John Robshaw and linocut prints by Hugo Guinness. There’s also a large collection of Derian’s decoupage, including some pieces designed exclusively for the Provincetown store—views of the town, the bay and 19th-century maps.

Recently, he created a scented candle in collaboration with Astier de Vilatte, named Provincetown. “It’s a little bit of all the scents of the sea and land, mostly inspired by my walks in the woods,” says Derian.