Under the spotlight – obtaining the Juliette’s weathered finish.

It’s quiet in the finishing section of the workshop where our artisan runs a thick paintbrush over the oak frame of a Gustavian-style Juliette bench, covering it in a pristine white. It’s the first step in a finishing process that results in one of the defining characteristics of this late 18th century Swedish design movement – a gently weathered, antique effect finish.

 

bench, gustavian style

 In an alcove, a paint waterfall cascades against a wall. An artisan takes the white bench, now dry, and places it in front of the stream of paint. Picking up his spray gun, he coats the bench in a layer of black paint. “It’s a filtration system,” he tells us. “The waterfall draws away the excess paint, dirt, dust, and fumes.”

 

bench, gustavian style

 Once dry, the bench is sanded right back to the natural oak. It’s a skill that demands an artful application of pressure, enough to ensure that the paint is removed, but that the carved detail remains untouched. The sander whirs as our artisan moves it over the frame, while a fan blows the dust away.

 

bench, gustavian style

 In the upholstery section of the workshop we examine a finished Juliette frame, the white and black remaining only in the grooves. We can’t help but appreciate how different Gustavian style is from typical Scandinavian design, with its Rococo and neoclassical influences, and beautiful well-worn finishes that give pieces like the Juliette a wizened quality, and a dignified, antique air.

 

Take a closer look at our Juliette bench collection

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Sarah
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20 Apr, 2015 · 3 min read
Hand-made from start to finish: crafting the Juliette bench.
23 Apr, 2015 · 3 min read
Li, Fu Jiao, 42, reclaimed wood artisan.