Designer Tim Gosling’s latest creation is more artwork than furniture piece – a Paravent de Pique-nique crafted with a triptych of craft skills that he believes have been used in combination for the first time.
The inspiration for his bespoke screen came from the owner’s 1920s riverside house. “We started playing around with the idea of river picnics and a 1920s theme, and the interior designer Annabel Hall brought artist Robert E Wells into the conversation – so we all produced sketch ideas that told a story,” Gosling says. “I suggested a new technique in which various types of wood and mother-of-pearl are inlaid into straw marquetry. The wood is then handpainted to create greater depth and colour.”
The finished design features fan-bursts of black and bronze straw marquetry, used with walnut, anigre and sycamore, highlighted by white mother-of-pearl. Blue abalone detailing also adorns the piece. “I wanted to reference the colouring found in Rob Wells’ handpainted peacock feathers,” Gosling says. “I love the way Rob scraped the paint off the surface, allowing the wood to come through. It gives the screen a textural finish even though the images are very stylised.”
Similar bespoke screens can be commissioned from £35,000 to £45,000 – and the ideas for new designs keep flowing. “I’m interested in pushing the boundaries of design and craftsmanship,” says Gosling. “Mixing straw work with carbon fibre, for example, enables you to create remarkable shapes. And I’ve always wanted to make a screen using cameo glass with wood and straw marquetry. It would be very organic and, as you’d be able to see through parts of the work, it could be very exciting.”