Radio personality excelling in interior design career

Published 1:06 am Sunday, May 24, 2009

NATCHEZ — Teri Roddy’s voice has been heard all over Natchez, all over Mississippi and practically all over the United States during her 20-year radio career.

But now, Roddy has shut off the microphone and is spreading her talents through a different medium — several different mediums.

Roddy, who relocated to Natchez in 2005, said she has always been an artist and now she’s continuing her artist’s life with a career in interior design.

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“I’ve been an artist since I was probably 3,” Roddy said. “I’ve been taking art lessons and doing some form of art my entire life so this really isn’t a jump for me.”

Roddy, owner and principle designer at Terrod Designs LLC, didn’t stop taking classes after her childhood either. She has continued to hone her decorating techniques through classes and workshops.

“Anything I do, I want to make sure I’m doing it right. I’m a perfectionist,” Roddy said. “So, when I say I can do a certain technique, I make sure I have taken the classes and gotten the certifications in that.”

She specializes in specialty painting and faux finishing.

Roddy, who began faux finishing in 2005, has achieved artisan, professional and master level certification at the Southern Institute of Faux Finishing and studied under Scottish master Cait Whitson to learn the skill of faux bois (wood graining) and marbling.

But those are only a few processes that Roddy has mastered since first diving into the world of interior design in 2001. She also does specialty paint and plaster finishes such as Italian plaster, marouflage, gilding, hand painted draperies, custom hand painted vintage bathtubs and trompe l’oeil. Roddy also recently completed certification as an Elite Crete concrete overlay artist.

“The hand painted draperies are definitely one of my favorite techniques because I have never done two the same,” Roddy said.

Roddy moved to Natchez from Jackson and said that while she dabbled in interior design in the Jackson area, it wasn’t until moving to Natchez that she was able to jump in with both feet.

“I had been doing design work on the side in Jackson for three or four years, but unless you are someone’s daughter or know someone you aren’t going to get hired in Jackson,” Roddy said. “In Natchez, I was fortunate to have a couple of people take the risk and hire me and after that work, the word just spread.”

But, even with a busy schedule doing design work, Roddy wasn’t able to completely get away from the radio business.

She said when she moved to Natchez full-time — she and her husband had a weekend home here already — her intention was to leave her full time radio life behind. But the microphone didn’t stayed packed away too long.

Roddy said she applied for a media relations job within the Natchez Convention and Visitor Bureau, but while she never heard from the CVB, she did get a call from First Natchez Radio Group.

“I wasn’t looking for anything in radio, but I agreed to work with them on a temporary basis,” Roddy said. “That turned into two years. I adore radio but the schedule was just getting to be too much.”

Roddy said she would work from 4:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the radio and then from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on design jobs.

So now she is focused solely on learning and mastering new design techniques that she can share with her clients.

One of the newest techniques she has learned is Tattoowall, which is the direct transfer of pigments to both interior and exterior surfaces. Roddy said the technique gives a traditional antique fresco look. She learned from classically trained Italian artist Gaia Calcatera and has already put the skill to use in Natchez.

“It is a combination of four different images to create a beautiful courtyard feeling,” Roddy said. “It is a modern day fresco.”

And for Roddy the learning never stops. Even though she is already certified in faux bois and marbling, she will go back to Scotland in June to get more training from Whitson.

Roddy said she and seven others were invited by Whitson to work and learn in Whitson’s new studio.

“It is going to be just fantastic,” Roddy said. “I just couldn’t pass it up.”

But after returning from Scotland, Roddy doesn’t know what she’ll tackle next.

“There is always something new and whatever it is, I’m sure I’ll learn it,” Roddy said. “There is no place I’d rather be than on top of scaffolding and covered in paint.”