Parchment is another exotic hide which was widely used in the Art Deco period, especially in Paris. Parchment is made from goat skin and is used as an alternative to veneers to cover pieces of artwork and furniture. Its luxury reflects the taste of the owner. The unique ivory colour of parchment is cosy but retains a sense of nobility. The most important and outstanding characteristic in a piece of parchment is the stripe that is found on the back of the goat. It lends the piece an aesthetic and artistic value.
Shagreen (stingray leather) is considered an exotic material and was first used to make sword handles by the Turks and the Japanese. It later became fashionable during the Art Deco period, in the 1920s and 1930s, when it was used extensively in furniture. It has a rough texture that is exotic and charming, and is now most commonly used as a luxurious finish for delicate, high-end handicrafts.
Of all metals, bronze is the only one that is strong yet remains flexible. It is the only metal that can reflect the artist’s passion. From the past to the present, bronze has been used to portray nobility and luxury. Most metals reflect a sense of coldness and stiffness, but bronze portrays warmth and tenderness.
Lacquer and gilding are ancient art techniques from Asia which were used extensively during the Ayutthaya period. Developed and made popular under the reign of King Rama III in Siam, lacquer and gilding were used in the making of furniture, door panels and pieces depicting the image of Buddha.
Gesso is an ivory-coloured lacquered surface with tiny crack lines. It can be used for panels, furniture, or even mirror frames, giving a look of natural luxury. MUSE artisans apply a white lacquer to a smooth surface and when it starts to dry, they crack the surface by hand using a special hand tool. These cracks run naturally and randomly. After this is completed, the item is sent for hand sanding, and the process is then repeated four to six times. Finally, what emerges is a clean, shiny ivory-coloured surface with that resembles an old animal bone or ivory tusk.