Straw marquetry is the art of hand crafting decorative patterns from ribbon-thin, flattened slithers of rye straw. Individually tinted, the stems are imported in small batches directly from France. Each stem is dyed, opened and flattened into fine strips. It is then inlaid by hand, edge to edge on paper or wood until the entire surface is covered. Patterns are achieved through careful pre-planning and expert execution.
Once applied, rye straw is inherently durable, creating a precious impermeable finish. Since every single strand of straw is unique, each piece of furniture is true bespoke: no two are alike, each project is a one-off. A naturally complex material, straw reflects light like no other lacquer in the world.
Marquetry is the art of applying a fine veneer to a solid structure in order to create a decorative finish. Developed by Florentine stone masons in the 16th century, the craft was late adopted by Flemish cabinet makers before being taken up by the French at the royal manufacture of Gobelins which was charged with fitting out Versailles under the reign of Louis XIV.
Straw marquetry, prized for the lustrousness of its finish, came into vogue in the era of Art Déco, and the works of Jean-Michel Frank, André Groult and Jean Royères are highly prized to this day.
Available for the first time by a French master in Sydney, straw marquetry can also be applied to great effect on furniture and interior surfaces such as wall panels and doors.
Arthur Seigneur creates Bespoke once-off and limited edition works. Operating his atelier out in the inner east Sydney, Arthur creates designs for private clients as well as collaborating with other designer including architects, interior designers and product designers to produce tailored pieces and decorative panels.
Whilst being respectful of the classical marquetry tradition, Arthur Seigneur prides himself on pushing boundaries to look at this traditional medium through a contemporary lens. His original and clever interplay of pattern, colour and form brings this ancient art into contemporary spaces.