Lost-wax casting, which is sometimes called precision casting is the time-honoured process by which a metal sculpture, often in brass, bronze, silver or gold, is cast from an original piece. Highly intricate work can be achieved through lost-wax casting.
The first step is to make a model in wax, this is then covered in clay, dried and fired. Consequently, the wax melts and pours away, hence being lost. This leaves a mould exactly as the original carved model. The molten metal is poured into the mould. A technique which has not changed for centuries. Once released from their moulds, the sculptures enter the final finishing process, each is meticulously cleaned, then to create different colours, a variety of patinas and finishes are applied.
Objet Luxe cast in both bronze and brass. Bronze has a higher copper content than brass, which makes it softer and darker in tone. Brass is a stronger material and often suits more delicate pieces.
Making glass is all about artistry and heat. The heat transforms the raw materials of sand, soda ash and lime, into the material we know has molten glass. The glassblower then gathers a small ball of molten glass on the blow pipe from the furnace. Air is then blown through the pipe to create a ball. More layers of molten glass can be added to create different shapes and sizes. The glass can be reheated and worked it the second kiln, the glory hole. Shapes are created by blowing and manipulating the hot sticky molten glass at the glassblower’s bench.
Colour is applied by rolling molten glass in powdered colour, several colours can be used together.
Each piece of glass is expertly hand finished either polished or sand blasted to generate the desired effective. Each piece of our hand-made glass collection is unique. Our team of artisan glass makers are highly skilled with years of knowledge and experience.
Marquetry and Parquetry are traditional techniques for creating decorative inlays on furniture, flooring and panelling. Pieces of precious veneers are most commonly used in the process. However, a wide variety of materials are often used including mother of pearl, bone, exotic stones and fine metals.
Parquetry uses a geometric mosaic of wood pieces to create a decorative effect. Often bold and striking, this process is most commonly used in flooring. Whereas Marquetry uses the small pieces of exotic veneers and other materials to create intricate decorative patterns, designs and elaborate pictures. The Marquetry work can be applied to furniture, small decorative objects as well as panels.
Today materials are cut by laser allowing us to develop more complexed designs. Many veneers, especially sycamore, retain stains well and evenly. By using modern day dyes we can create a unique colour palette, not found in nature. We are proud of the traditional skills used to create our marquetry and parquetry wooden boxes, trays and tableware. Each item is precision made by artisans with exacting attention to detail
Porcelain is considered by many as the finest ceramic available and is renowned for its translucence quality. The porcelain material is made heating the raw materials in a kiln to over 1200 °C, it is this vitrification that gives the porcelain its strength, toughness and translucency.
Porcelain was first used by the Chinese and eventually become popular in Europe in the mid-18th century. The material’s natural whiteness which combines well with glazes and paints, made it the perfect material for decorative tableware, vessels and figurines. The leading 18th century makers included the legendary Meissen and Josiah Wedgwood.
Today, we make each piece individually carefully manipulating the soft malleable porcelain clay, we transform the material into a delicate and refined object. The transformation goes through several stages, first the shaping of the clay, then the drying process, before glazing and firing, and finally gilded inside to create a fabulous luminous finish.
Combining the craft processes of mosaic making with the skills of marquetry, our shell mosaic work can be applied to any substrate. Shells are sliced wafer thin and then precision cut into various shapes and sizes, from triangles, brick shapes or tiny squares depending on the final design. The pieces of shell are then dyed to the colour required, then each tiny piece of shell is applied by hand to the substrate, whether it is marine ply, which we use for trays, or round resin former for a bowl. To ensure a perfect smooth finish to curvaceous surfaces, we crack the triangular cut shell into thousands of tiny pieces, hence the terms ‘shell mosaic’.
By cutting and layer the shell pieces, a myriad of colours is generated. No two pieces of shell mosaic will be the same, due the natural materials used. Finally, each piece is highly polished and buffed by hand to create a perfectly smooth finish which is luxurious to the touch, before silver or gold plated embellishments or handles are fitted.
Sea Shells are a beautiful material to work with. We embellish many shells, especially Mother of Pearl shells with silver to create luxury accessories. Due to the unique nature of each shell, the process of embellishing can often be challenging, as no two shells are exactly the same. We start by grading the shells for size and quality. Each shell is carefully cleaned and inspected for flaws. The embellishments are cast in brass, for strength, then the intricate process of assembly starts. Each shell and casting are carefully matched together, often being tweaked to achieve the perfect fit. Then final castings are plated in either silver or gold, depending on the design. Once plated, the final assembly takes place. Then each piece is polished and lacquered for beauty and longevity.
Combining shells, ostrich eggs with precious metals is an old art form, dating back to the court of Rudolf II, king of Hungary and Bohemia in the late 16th century. At the time, Rudolf II was considered as the greatest art patron in the world. During his reign, Prague became a leading city for arts, science and architecture, attracting many international artists to his imperial court, including the goldsmiths Paul van Vianen and Wenzel Jamnitzer, whose work we admire.