Straw Marquetry Methodology

 

In a workshop surrounding a shaded garden on the outskirts of Siem Reap, a French and master craftsman has been inspiring and teaching young artisans how to recover ancient skills totally lost to them during the Cambodia Civil War.

The noise and dust on the streets seems like a world away in the oasis. The workshop is a sanctuary of quiet and calm, always filled with smiles but concentration is key for the patient precision required, whether it is it is in the creation of the lacquerware, the minute placement of eggshell or fine strips for marquetry.

1

STRAW

We use traditional rye straw from Burgundy, France. Straw Marquetry is a technique that has been seen in Europe since the 1600’s. It is probably most famously associated with the prisoners during the Napoleonic wars, where they created incredible pieces to relieve boredom and sell at a nearby market.
 
Our artisans use pre dyed straw, ready to be washed and dried before being split open and ironed into flat ribbon lengths ready to be applied to a wooden base.
 
 
 
2

APPLICATION

The prepared straw is individually laid, piece by piece, onto wood and matched to perfection at each edge until the surface is totally covered. Natural, clear drying lacquer is applied onto straw to the wood base.

3

RUBBER TREES & WOOD CARVING

The Para Rubber tree now has more plantations in South East Asia than in the rest of the world. A fast growing tree with wood that is durable, flexible, strong and resistant.  It is the perfect base for our lacquerware, eggshell and marquetry products.

Artisans use thin layers of rubber wood which are glued together and left to bond for a week before they can begin work on the carving.  Following this, the bowls are sanded to a completely smooth finish.

4

BESPOKE

All of our products can be made to order with small design tweaks or whole new designs to suit your projects. Please get in touch to discuss your products.

Straw Marquetry Products