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Many people ask Valerie, "Is it really mercury?" The answer is, it is real glass without the mercury! Our antique Mercury Glass look is achieved by a special six-step process—and no mercury.Here's how we do it:
1. Starting with a piece of clear glass, we apply a layer of silver base paint.
2. Next, the painted glass pieces are placed into a vacuum-plating machine, where the paint becomes very shiny, almost mirror-like.
3. After this, we hand-apply a special solution onto the glass, creating the antiqued effect.
4. Once the glass has the proper level of antiquing (not too much, but enough to let the light through), each piece is fully rinsed to stop any further antiquing. Note: no two pieces allow the same amount of light through because each piece is individually antiqued.
5. Now the piece is ready for color! Each piece is hand spray painted, matching the Pantone hue chosen by Valerie.
6. Finally, if the glass is going to be used outdoors, we apply a UV coating treatment to help keep the color fresh, even after exposure to the sun.
Information provided by Valerie Parr Hill and Mr. Christmas.
About Valerie Parr Hill
Valerie Parr Hill is the founder and president of The Valerie Parr Company, which distributes her own line of decorative accessories, wreaths, candles, bedding, rugs, and accent furniture.
Valerie was born in Rochester, Minnesota and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was crowned Kentucky's Junior Miss in 1975. She earned her bachelor's degree at Asbury College in Kentucky and went on to earn her master's degree in communications at Wheaton College in Illinois and studied not-for-profit marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. In the eighties, Valerie served in the public service sector, fund-raising for higher education, wildlife protection, and fine arts institutions.
Following her personal passion for hospitality, Valerie began designing decorative home accents to sell in catalogs and at stores, and imagining ways she could inspire and help others to create warm and welcoming homes. Her passion led her to publish a how-to decorating book, Decorating for the Holidays, and she begin working with QVC.
Valerie's first QVC show, Decorating with Wreaths, premiered in 1993, and was an immediate success. Now for more than a decade, Valerie Parr Hill has been an avid designer and purveyor of home decorating accents, specializing in items that help her customers create warm and welcoming homes in the midst of their busy lives. Valerie appears frequently on QVC and with her own programs, Heartfelt Home, Heartfelt Holidays, and Home Fragrances. During these shows she offers decorating tips and advice on how viewers can create a warm, welcoming home.
Valerie and her husband, Will, reside in New Jersey with their two sons.