Dallas Press

Article from the Dallas Morning News January 13, 2012

 

By BARBARA RODRIGUEZ

Special Contributor

Published: 13 January 2012 06:24 PM

Artful. Cheesy. One usually cancels out the other, but now there’s proof that where cheese meets design, a full serving of tastefulness results.

Anyone who has ever seen a round French cheese box will recognize the 29 highly palatable designs created by Darrellene and Tommy Lindsey and reproduced on chargers, coasters, wall hangings and Lazy Susans as their Cheese Label Art collection.

Trained as graphic artists, Darrellene at North Texas and Tommy at Texas Tech, the Plano couple ventured into retail after their search for the perfect 10th anniversary gift. Wanting a piece of art that would uniquely reflect their love of France and each other (they were engaged in Paris), Tommy was inspired to paint a replica of a camembert label featuring the Eiffel Tower. Admiration by friends inspired the leap into the wholesale Darrellene Designs, which sells the locally produced wares through area shops and online.

Tommy and Darrellene paint the originals. The intricate detail of “Winter Holly” is more his style; she prefers whimsical subjects, such as a white-faced cow gorging herself on grapes.

Inspired by vintage box labels, the Lindseys’ art is not always identical to the source. “We do take artistic license,” Darrellene says. The high-quality giclée reproductions are almost indistinguishable from the couple’s hand-painted originals on native hardwood. “A lot of people do transfers. We print directly on wood. It’s even hard for me to tell the difference.”

As with any good cheese course, the selections appeal to a variety of tastes, from the sepia tones of “Bee,” inspired by the label on an extra-fine Camembert d’ Abeille and a classic black, white and gold “Fleur de Lys,” to designs centered on lobsters, poppies and, naturally, the Eiffel Tower. Roosters are best-sellers, and several designs feature Christmas scenes, but for sheer delight look no further than the wily rabbit absconding with a cheese.

In addition to the hugely popular coasters, discs in a variety of diameters are intended for wall display. Although the surface is not intended for food service (unless topped with glass), the Lazy Susans and chargers are ideal for holiday tablescapes.

But why stop there? The Copper Lamp in North Dallas has transformed a 46-inch rooster design into a small table. Can a glass of wine and cheese sampler be far behind as the perfect way to complete the circle of pleasure?
Barbara Rodriguez is a Fort Worth writer.

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