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Furniture & Lighting, New Materials

A little look at the Ancient Crafts Behind High-End Furniture Brands


You can’t have high-end furniture design if you don’t have any craftsmanship involved. These days, despite the advances in technology that facilitate the work of many furniture design brands, ancient crafts are still that classic and essential element that supports the upscale design. And it shall remain like this for years to come.

A little look at the Ancient Crafts Behind High-End Furniture Brands

Nowadays, everything’s pre-fabricated and made for yesterday, with its perfect, laser-cut nooks and edges. But where’s the value in that? There’s no uniqueness in there, there’s no heritage, there’s no luxury in that. So with that in mind, we’ve decided to introduce you to some of the techniques that are still relevant to high-end furniture design these days.

Metal Casting

The art of casting metals into a chosen shape and size. The process starts by melting metal into a liquid, pouring it in a mold with a cavity of the desired shape, and removing the material, or casting after the final work gets cool and then solidified. The solidified part can be ejected or even broken out of the mold.

A little look at the Ancient Crafts Behind High-End Furniture Brands

This technique is one of the most used for making intricate forms that would be difficult to have from other methods. Cast iron and aluminum are the most common metals processed, although bronze, brass, steel, among other varieties, are also used to produce castings.

You can also check out: More about ArtsTool Project Culture’s Series of Handcrafted Designs

Murano Glass

For centuries Murano has conserved the art of glass with jealous closeness, to the point that in the ancient Serenissima Republic of Venice, nobody was allowed to leave the island of Murano without official permission. Although its tradition has been handed down from generation to generation for centuries, from Master to “garzonetto”, father to son, the history of Venetian glass working has evolved in a manner that continues to respect the true traditions, and integral customs of the land, and its history.

A little look at the Ancient Crafts Behind High-End Furniture Brands

This has carried to the present day the true largeness and beauty of the works of glass created on the island of Murano. It is therefore impossible to describe just how and why this art is fascinating, its presentation would demand attention and knowledge. We will try to give a short description of some of the more important points for those who are interested in knowing more of this wonderful and unique art.


Gold Leaf Gilding

The gold leaf application can be called gold leafing or gilding. It has been a process of ornamental decoration used on different materials and surfaces by the application of a thin layer of gold. It is available in a wide variety of karats and shades, and actually, there are a few substitutes for gold such as silver or copper.

A little look at the Ancient Crafts Behind High-End Furniture Brands

Using different techniques, the art of gilding has been mostly applied to the decoration of art objects, such as statues, or even pictures frames Architecture is also one of the creative fields that applies the rich technique on buildings and design components, evoking unique moments of rare opulence. Traditional water gilding is the most difficult and it remains unchanged for hundreds of years and it is still done by hand.

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Tile Painting

One of the most representative art forms of the Portuguese cultural heritage. The renowned blue hand-painted tiles reflect a tradition used for hundreds of years. Azulejo is usually clay or ceramic plate piece, generally with a square shape decorated with glazed colorful designs, and repeated hundreds to a few thousand times. It is used as wall covering decoration, being linked to architectural use, covering a large surface area on both the inside and outside of buildings.

A little look at the Ancient Crafts Behind High-End Furniture Brands

The majority of tiles illustrates Moorish designs which have curvilinear, lacelike and looping designs, or even have geometric or floral motifs. Originally, azulejos appeared in Portugal thanks to the Arabs in the XV century. Since then, the country has been using the art uninterrupted for over five centuries, meaning it is already part of the Portuguese soul and the most meaningful place for this timeless technique movement.

Wood Carving

One of the oldest arts of humankind, the art of making sculpturing ornaments in a wooden object creates undeniable
beauty forms and shapes. From its natural look and textures to highly polished and colored versions, wood has always been easily accessible and relatively easy to manipulate, attracting the interest of artists and designers over the years.

Adding details to a piece can be performed thru different wood carving styles and techniques, such as pattern, blocking, detailing, surfacing, or smoothening. Although the wood carving technique is one of most widely practiced, it survives much less than other main materials like stone carvings or bronze, changing thru time if left long periods of time without care.


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