Alexander Lamont Spins Straw into Gold

17.08.2012 14:51

Alexander Lamont designs products for the home from Straw and turns them into Gold.
Alexander Lamont




Alexander Lamont Spins Straw into Gold

What is so fascinating about Straw?  Alexander Lamont was recently asked that question.  He feels that it is the idea of taking a humble material, such as rye straw and making it into something as beautiful and precious as gold.

Mr. Lamont first came across the art of straw marquetry in a book about early Twentieth Century decorator, Jean-Michel Frank.  Some of Monsieur Frank’s most iconic rooms and apartments, that he decorated, had walls and furniture that were covered with rye straw.  The unique quality that rye straw has is that it has a surface that will reflect light in a subtle way and look a bit like gold in its natural color.  The last image in this gallery is of an apartment in the rue de Babylone, Paris, that shows the straw lining book cases.

Inspired by the images of this work with straw, Mr Lamont set out on a quest to find straw that had been cured and prepared for marquetry.  This search proved to be quite a task because rye straw that is harvested for bread is destroyed during reaping while straw that is to be used for marquetry has to be planted and carefully cut.  Eventually his search was rewarded when he discovered a man considered to be one of the national masters of this French tradition.  The man agreed to travel to Bangkok with tools, materials and a lifetimes worth of skill that he was willing to share with Mr. Lamont.

Since then straw marquetry has become part of the Alexander Lamont line and is being used to make detailed cabinets, mirror frames and lamp bases.  Lamont has this year alone used about 3,000 kilos of straw.

According to Mr. Lamont, straw is a subtle material that requires every person involved to work to the same color palette.  The material holds endless possibilities of pattern, tone and application.  The process is entirely done by hand and the workshop uses only hand tools and water-based adhesives and dyes.  Enormous patience and quality control comes in the preparation of the straw and the final finish.  The end result is a jewel-like luminous surface that plays with and reflects light and color like nothing else.

Please enjoy the following images in this gallery.
For more information on Alexander Lamont and his products:

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