John Derian

Art & Culture

Chic Boutique of Home Goods and Gifts with Beautiful Découpage Glassware

John Derian company exterior east village

About John Derian

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • Artist John Derian established this unique group of gift shops in 1989. One is a small home goods and gifts store; another features textiles and art; another has larger pieces like furniture and lighting fixtures.
  • Derian’s designs center around decoupage (more about that below!) and most of his work is handmade in his New York City studio.
  • We are not the only ones who think the shops are pretty. Derian’s work has been featured in major pubs like Elle, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, GQ, The New York Times, Vogue and Architectural Digest.
  • John Derian grew up on the outskirts of Boston and his interest in art started at a very young age. He says his most important inspiration is nature. As a child, Derian would spend time outdoors using found objects to create sculptures out of things like stones, leaves, and twigs. By the time he reached 7th grade, he was winning awards for his watercolors.
  • Derian moved to New York in 1992, and his career and popularity took off after getting a large order for plates, totaling $30,000. Soon after, he outgrew his original studio space and moved into 6 East 2nd Street.

CBS Sunday Morning did a nice segment on Derian:

Carpe City Trivia

What is decoupage?

Decoupage is an artistic method that entails gluing paper cutouts onto a surface and sealing them with a varnish. Artists also include other elements like paint or gold leaves in their designs. The process traditionally includes 30 to 40 layers of varnish followed by sanding to create a polished finish. The word decoupage comes from the French “decouper,” which means to cut out or cut from. The technique is thought to have originated in Siberia, where tribes used cutouts to decorate tombs. Via trade and travel, it spread to China and throughout Europe, where it began to be used on other items like lanterns, boxes, and windows.

By: Cyd Sacks

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