Materials and Techniques in the Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Dictionary
by Lucy Trench
This dictionary is a single-volume reference book devoted to the materials and techniques used in the decorative arts. In our industrialized society ... Show synopsis This dictionary is a single-volume reference book devoted to the materials and techniques used in the decorative arts. In our industrialized society it is often hard to understand craftsmen's techniques. Just how are triple spirals put into the stem of a wine glass, or table tops inlaid with whole landscapes of semi-precious stones? These techniques are fascinating, but so are the materials. Ranging from the exotic to the most basic, they can include the ground bodies of South American insects or rare stones found only in the mountains of Badakshan, but also sand, clay, lime and unsavoury animal products. Until now this information has been passed on from craftsman to craftsman or confined to highly specialized books. Even the better-known terms are often misunderstood, and others remain obscure. With this one dictionary, the subject is now accessible to all, to the art historian or collector who needs to understand how objects are made, but also to any curious reader who is intrigued by the skills that have created the beautiful things around us. The dictionary has been compiled by a team of experts, each with the intimate knowledge of their subject that comes from daily contact with the materials. The contributors have covered glass, ceramics, textiles, paper, plastics, leather, metal, stone, wood and paint, with core entries on each of these subjects and many more that describe terms associated with them. The materials and techniques are explained, accompanied by photographs and drawings that illustrate both the artefacts and the processes that made them.