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Straw Marquetry

Straw marquetry is a craft where, like wood veneer in traditional marquetry, thin straw pieces are cut and used to create decorative patterns on a piece of furniture.
 
The straw, which is only grown in the Burgundy region of France, is dyed to produce various colours, then flattened and applied to a surface using glue. It can be applied to literally any surface, provided there is a glue that will stick to it.
 
The straw is naturally loaded with silica, which creates its in-built iridescent effect. I do not apply ANY surface coatings to my straw marquetry – the gleam you see if the natural straw reflecting light.
 
Straw marquetry was particularly popular in the 18th century for decorating small objects like boxes and furniture panels. In recent years Lison De Caunes singlehandedly resurrected the craft, and the obnoxiously talented Arthur Seigneur has shown the world just how much can be achieved with this incredible medium.
 
Straw marquetry provides a unique, textured appearance and can be used to create intricate designs, adding a distinctive and elegant flourish to any room.
 
While I use it to add a taste of genuine Parisian luxury to furniture items, it is also used as wall panelling, and is beloved by companies such as Cartier, who have it in all of their stores worldwide, and even some of their watches. It looks fantastic on a bed’s headboard.
 
The Straw is naturally impervious to water, and despite its luxury appearance, is extremely tough and hardwearing. All that is needed to keep it clean and gleaming is a wipe with a damp cloth.
 
 

Lison De Caunes

Lison is the artist responsible for the resurgence of interest in Straw Marquetry. 

After graduating from the Union centrale des Arts décoratifs, Lison de Caunes focused on the art of straw marquetry, following in her grandfather’s footsteps, the decorator André Groult.
 
An expert in this craft, she rejuvenates traditional practices by restoring vintage furniture and objects from the 17th century to the Art Deco era.
 
Lison has held exhibitions, written books about straw marquetry, and participated in events to highlight this versatile material that adds a luxurious touch to contemporary furniture.
 
She designs custom furniture, home decor, and wall panels for interior architects and decorators. In 2015, she established Lison de Caunes Créations, her own brand of straw marquetry furniture.