Callidus Guild resides inside a niche market, which suits the Brooklyn-based business just fine. The company is internationally recognized for creating one-of-a-kind aesthetics that use plaster, handmade paints, and precious metals for some of the world’s most discerning clients.
The Brooklyn studio is just as glamorous as the products produced inside; the building is a former shoe factory that was built in 1897 and this is where the magic behind Yolande Milan Batteau’s creations is made. As owner and creative director, Batteau has assembled some of the top painters, gilders, plasterers, and sculptors to form a collection of “like-minded makers.”
Batteau grew up in Williamsburg and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. However it was within her childhood garage where she made hundreds of paintings in her free time. Always creative, the artist got her first commission from Peter Marino, the renowned interior designer and architect… “king of exquisite surfaces.” Her initial interview did not land her the dream job she was interviewing for; however the woven wicker basket that she carried, along with the artwork that was inside, left an impression on Marino. Before long, Batteau was called back and asked to work on one of Marino’s biggest clients, Chanel; she was asked to create a wallpaper based on her special artwork.
Citing Art Deco as one of her inspirations, the unique wallpaper that Batteau creates is made from a number of high quality materials including plasters, metals, and handmade paints. What sets Callidus Guild apart is the second of the three layers within her custom wallpaper. She has been known to secretly pinch, stamp, inlay, and cross-hatch designs. The surfaces that the designer creates involve, courtesy of the company’s web site, “pushing marble dust, encaustic, resin, leaf and micaceous powders beyond their historical limits.”
Each sheet of wallpaper employs various methods such as micaceous and marble dust plasters, precious metals, pigments, handmade paints, glazes and waxes. Each material is sourced from the earth, hand-tinted, and applied by hand to every sheet of wallpaper.
Initially known for the special wallpaper they produce, Callidus Guild has also perfected wall panels. The company has reinterpreted their most beloved wallpaper designs, in addition to fabricating new surfaces to be applied to panels. Most often, the more complex applications are formulated in this fashion including Mira and Gold Leaf and Resin and Mother of Pearl.
The company contends that at the heart of their process are ancient materials and methods; similarly, the papers they use are inspired by nature and different cultures. In order to ensure sustainability, Callidus Guild’s papers are environmentally- friendly, sourced responsibly, and A-1 Fire rated. Most importantly, each sheet is handprinted by an artisan in New York City.
Speaking of the reason behind her company’s success, Batteau told Lainey Sidwell from Surface Magazine, “The luxury art and design market is oversaturated with precious and polished artworks. I am excited by emerging artists that are seeking to shake up the status quo and offer collectors something unexpected and unpredictable, un-homogeneous. Glass and ceramic artists are making great leaps and bounds in tabletop sculpture; some of the newest collectible work is so good at demonstrating chunky, jagged, scored, new surfaces. I want to bring that level of tactility to walls, on a grand scale. I hope that people take away a renewed sense of Callidus Guild’s approach to surfaces and materiality.”