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Marbling and graining is a specialized technique of building layers of paint and translucent glaze to replicate the effect of exotic  woods and marbles.

It is a technique that dates back to Roman times, but became refined to astonishing realism in the 17th and 18th Century in Great Britain when ships returned from across the globe bringing exotic woods. This whetted the appetite for design that far outstripped the supply and artists perfected techniques to satisfy the void.

It reached its zenith in during the 19th century with the work of Thomas Kershaw who became a favorite of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His works can still be seen in Buckingham Palace  and several museums. 

In a modern world of climate change and environmental destruction, these techniques again fill the supply void with an artistic and sustainable solution.


My own apprenticeship was under the great master William Holgate, the finest grainer since Kershaw, who slipped away into legend in 2002. Together we worked on cathedrals, palaces and historic properties and I am blessed and proud to carry on the traditions of "The Gaffer" and pass them to future artists.

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