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Vaillancourt Chalkware has evolved beyond the 19th century medium. Today it is recognized as fine art. […]
During the 19th century, chalkware was sculpted gypsum painted effortlessly with watercolors. Because most chalkware was sold by carnival vendors, it was considered the “poor man’s porcelain.”
As described in the Vaillancourt Story, Judi, an artist and Christmas historian, received three antique chocolate moulds and decided to interpret the 19th century art form in a unique way. Reviving the historic medium, Judi create the first modern commercial use of chalkware when she took her historical chocolate molds to create 3-dimensional canvas with a liquid chalk.
Although other individuals and organizations have adopted a similar story for their own, Judi Vaillancourt was the first artist to develop this technique using chocolate moulds (and later her own moulds) and apply her oil painting talent, her love of history and Christmas, and her ingenuity to create a new medium through contemporary chalkware.
Her method of creating the modern chalkware with this technique was first recognized in 1988 by Early American Life, 1989 by Colonial Homes, 1991 by Collector Editions and has been recognized in countless national and local publications since–including a feature story in Yankee Magazine in 2005, a feature on WCVB’s Chronicle in 2016 and and 2021, as well as acknowledgments through historic and artistic organizations such as Colonial Williamsburg foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the MET.
With one of the largest personal collection of vintage confectionery moulds in the world, Judi continues to find inspiration from historical contexts and hand-paints each piece that is produced in her Sutton studios.
In 2003, looking for new inspiration, Judi began to develop her own moulds allowing for the expansion of her vision to translate into a new level. After launching an exclusive line for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman in 2012, Judi’s chalkware advanced from “folk art” into “fine art.” Having painted dozens of one of a kinds that could never be reproduced and are considered some of the highest quality Christmas collectibles in America.
Read about the history of Vaillancourt Folk Art