Having discussed several other craftsmanship techniques, like wood carving or filigree, Secrets From Portugal has been doing to you, what our master artisans do to our furniture designs daily: imbibing the culture and know-how of our ancestors and sharing with the world the magnificence of high-end craftsmanship. Now, it is time for another time-honoured artistry: Marquetry.
Many times invoked as one of the oldest arts of humankind, the ancient art of marquetry has been attracting the interest of artists and designers over the years. The word marquetry derivates from French marqueterie. The early use of wood veneers for decorative purposes dates to ancient Egypt, although there isn’t much evidence of that.
The process of marquetry became popular special in the late 16th century in France. After receiving an immense stimulus in the two following centuries in Europe, this ancient art started to amplify. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the French André-Charles Boulle elevates the ancient art of marquetry to a next level, conjoining exquisite furniture adorned unique marquetry patterns, leaving a legacy for the future generations.
There is a conception that marquetry and inlay or intarsia is the same art. Although they are similar, marquetry differs from this art craft. The marquetry art refers to the process of applying thin slices of wood to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or even pictures.
Marquetry has long been perceived as a standout amongst the most appealing and modern methods of decorating fine furniture. The art of making sculptured ornaments in a wooden object creates undeniable beauty forms and shapes. Balancing, between a classic natural look and textures, to highly polished and coloured versions, wood has been a main raw material chosen by many artisans.
Nowadays, the technique of marquetry has been suffering an evolution. The range of materials used is more diverse, including not only rare tropical woods and metals such as silver, bronze, and brass but also a wide range of other materials of a semiprecious nature.
Marquetry is an ancient art is a manifestation of the spirit, a gathering of knowledge and a display of talented design.