Materials

Forwood Design Glossary of Materials

Lapis Lazuli Placemats

Malachite  

Malachite is a luxury copper-based stone that has been used in jewellery for at least 3500 years. This beautiful stone consists of light and dark shades of green in swirls and banded lines. 

 

The designer Henry Forwood came across this luxurious semi-precious stone in his grandmother’s house. She had a Victorian box on her mantelpiece, and he loved gazing at the intricate patterns. He still loves it and created an exclusive faux Malachite finish, for Forwood Design, as a result.

 

The Process

To produce the faux replica exclusively for Forwood Design, Henry developed a film of ink depicting a sheet of malachite. The film ink floats on water, and then products or panels are lowered into the water. After this, the ink wraps around the object, adhering to it. The result of this process is a luxury object with a perfect facsimile of the original. 

 

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is a deep blue stone flecked with white and metallic yellow. In the past, it was ground down to make the ultramarine blue that became fashionable with the artists of the Renaissance. Nowadays, this semi-precious stone is being used in the manufacture of luxury jewellery and furniture.

 

Our designer, Henry Forwood, loves Lapis Lazuli because its deep ultramarine colour oozes luxury. It’s truly a statement blue for interiors. Nothing can beat lapis lazuli for vibrancy and depth!

 

The Process

To produce the faux replica exclusively for Forwood Design, a film of ink depicting a sheet of Lapis floats on water. When products or panels are lowered into the water, the ink wraps around the item, adhering to it. 

Tamo Ash

Tamo Ash, also known as Japanese Tamo Ash, is a hardwood grown in Japan and northern Asia. It is light to medium brown and has a wild figured grain. It is most commonly used in luxury fine furniture and musical instruments (guitars). Although rare, it is not a threatened species. 

 

Henry Forwood considers that no other timber comes close to the remarkable patterns and detail of Tamo Ash. At Forwood Design we use it in its veneer form as it would be too expensive and create unnecessary waste to make items from solid wood.

Shagreen

Shagreen is leather made from sharks or stingrays. It’s a textured finish covered in their skins raised dots. It has been used for centuries to decorate sword handles to prevent a sweaty hand from slipping. In the 16th century, it started to become fashionable as a finish for luxury furniture. 

 

Shagreen leather had a huge resurgence in the Art Deco period and became a signature material for furniture designers such as Jean-Michel Frank, Paul Iribe and Andre Groult. Here at Forwood Design, we have created a sustainable faux shagreen that is difficult to tell apart from the real thing. The one big difference is that ours can be easily cleaned just by wiping with a damp cloth and that it does not come from sharks or stingrays.

 

Henry Forwood has always considered shagreen as exotic leather since he was given a sword by his parents with a shagreen covered handle. He liked the leather because of its uniform texture, patterns and its quality that takes almost any colour from caviar black through to almond whites.

 

The Process

In the 1990s Henry started work with resin as an alternative material to wood. He first started inserting natural materials like pulses, bamboo and grains for finishes and accents to home décor and furniture. Through this work and over a number of years, he developed the skills of mould making. Combined with his knowledge of chemistry, he created a pliable sheet of resin shagreen for Forwood Design’s luxury products that is so realistic it’s difficult to tell apart from the original.

Silver Eggshell Finish

The eggshell finish is just as the title says it is. Eggshells are collected and cleaned thoroughly. Then they are gently cooked to become slightly brittle. Next, the shells are tenderly broken and flattened onto a board covered in glue. This work is painstakingly slow and requires great skill and patience. Once the glue has dried, the surface can be sprayed. 

 

Henry Forwood came across eggshell on an early trip to the Far East, where it is used in combination with lacquer to make artworks and surfaces. The textures and patterns that can be produced always appealed to Henry.

 

The Process

To produce the faux replica exclusively for Forwood Design, a large sheet is photographed and manufactured onto a special film. The film ink floats on water, and then products or panels are lowered into the water. After this, the ink wraps around the object, adhering to it. The result of this process is a luxury object with a perfect facsimile of the original. 

 

At Forwood Design, we have used a silver spray to produce our silver faux eggshell effect. Finally, when the paint has dried, the surface can be lightly sanded, creating a smooth but dimpled surface boasting the colour of the egg around the silver.

Tortoiseshell

Forwood Design Tortoiseshell is not made from real Tortoise. We have photographed an antique box lid and created a film which we fix to our tortoiseshell products. 

 

By doing this, we can create wonderful luxury furniture and accessories reminiscent of the Victorian era when tortoise shells became very popular in the manufacture of boxes, furniture, spectacles and jewellery. 

 

Tortoiseshell is one of those luxury materials that went out of fashion. Henry Forwood considers this did not happen due to its colours and textures, but because of what it is, an endangered animal shell. 

 

Despite the fact that you can find hand-painted versions of the finish in antique shops, they don’t quite achieve the variety and depth of colour you find on the real thing. 

 

The Process

At Forwood Design, we purchased an antique box several years ago, which Henry Forwood photographed in high resolution. With that image, he produced a translucent film. That film is what we wrap around our accessories and furniture.

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