Lacquered Straw Marquetry

30 August 2017 Posted by Marion

Exploration and innovation of materials is at the heart of our company and the Lacquered Straw finish we have developed beautifully exemplifies this vision.

Artisan polishing a lacquered straw surface.

This material is a combination of three noble decorative art techniques and was the creation of Alexander while working with Eric Stocker his lacquer head of department. The final effect is a meeting point between the Deco element of straw marquetry and the famous temple lacquer from Japan.

We start with preparing the structure for straw as usual but with a special coating to protect from the water used in later layers. Ebony black straw marquetry is applied and then coated with white gesso. Once dry it is sanded carefully to expose the black straw beneath leaving a distressed black and white effect. The materials are then covered with layers of naturally red lacquer. The colour choice of red and black is very deliberate since we want to use real natural lacquer, against black which is the colour group of Negoro – the traditional Japanese temple lacquer whereby the black lacquer beneath the red is exposed through use.

A Japanese Negoro tray in the traditional red and black lacquer.
The ‘liquid effect’ of lacquered straw marquetry.

As straw marquetry is so iconically Art Deco and Negoro is so famously Japanese, the merging of these worlds is a literal meeting of East and West. The lacquer gives the straw a very strong surface that highlights the straw in a way that ripples in achieving a ‘liquid effect’ as it reflects light. A mixing of materials that shows our love for the traditional arts as they are re-imagined through innovation is everything we aim to embody.

A custom table top in our signature lacquered straw marquetry.

The Amaranth Table.

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