PRESS

  • ASID Annual Design Awards Publication, San Jose Magazine, April 2005
  • Feature Article, Earthen Treasures, Traditional Home Magazine, September 2005
  • Feature Article, Jacobsen & Balla Handpainted Wallcoverings, California Home & Design Magazine,
    July 2004
  • ASID Annual Design Awards Publication, San Jose Magazine, April 2004
  • ASID Annual Design Awards Publication, San Jose Magazine, April 2001
  • Feature Article, Jacobsen & Balla, The Los Altos Town Crier, August 2000
  • Profile, Jacobsen & Balla Handpainted Wallcoverings, Design Journal, The Monthly Journal of Design & Architecture, June 1998

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California Home & Design Article, July 2004

Ruth Jacobsen of Jacobsen & Balla is obsessed with color. She specializes in creating full-spectrum color wallcoverings by hand. Full spectrum colors come from paint that has been mixed using every color in the light spectrum, but in exact, often minute amounts. The result is a color that not only looks natural, but seems to glow from within because of the complete absence of black, just like the colors that occur in nature.

It all began when Jacobsen needed a wallcovering in her home that her cat couldn’t scratch and that wouldn’t stain. An artist who had been fascinated with the concept of full-spectrum colors for some time, she created her own wallcoverings using canvas squares and the highest quality pigments mixed by hand. Applied in pieces like a collage, Jacobsen’s wallcoverings have expanded into several different patterns, including “Ming Poems,” featuring graphite rubbings from a Ming poet on handmade paper with a hand torn edge; “Venetian Parchment,” a line of rich, undiluted colors; and “Tiki” a woven fiberglass material resembling grass cloth.

Jacobsen, who trained as a nurse, mixes her own colors and measures pigments with syringes to make accurate measurements down to the half drop. “Accuracy is of utmost importance in full-spectrum colors,” she says. The painstaking process yields incredible beauty. Once you’ve seen her colors, nothing else compares; it’s as if the rest of the world were black and white.

 

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