In a recent article published in the Financial Times, Sandrine Viollet discussed straw marquetry furniture technique.
“What fascinates me is that you start with such a simple material and end up with beautiful furniture,” says Sandrine Viollet, master of straw marquetry at Atelier Viollet. “You can’t use any machines to work the straw “ only hand tools “ so there’s a connection with the material throughout the process. It’s a pleasure using this centuries-old technique, and a challenge to innovate using new shapes and daring colours.”
Viollet’s husband, Jean-Paul, comes from a long line of wood-workers whose workshop was founded in France in 1836 and reborn 150 years later in Brooklyn, New York. When, in 2008, straw marquetry was included in the French crafts award Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France for the first time, she spent 1,500 hours creating 100 custom colours to win. “You can play with colors and shades indefinitely,” she says.