The French Wirework Style…
The open coiled craft of wirework was a technique popular during the first half of the 19th century. The intricate detailing of artisans who craft each piece of handwoven metal, turned and formed in the tradition of French wire-craft is an enduring tradition today. The art of twisting and shaping each piece by hand equates each piece as a work of art. French wirework has a charming, old-world rustic appeal with its lightweight, airy aura. Beauty, elegance and delicate appeal paired with a sturdy frame, indeed. Fortunately, the wire work and forged iron work of garden furniture is still made today by artisan craftsmen who share the same creativity as the wire craftsmen of the past. Today, wirework is typically galvanized and finished in an antique etch, providing a maintenance free, life-time piece. These modern designers and artisans work from authentic designs and original antique furniture. A timeless tradition, indeed. Classic details in our modern world.
Of note, there is a company in England, Raymentwire, that has been hand-crafting wirework structures for the last two decades (raymentwire.co.uk). They describe their products as items ‘for treasured gardens, conservatories and interiors of the world’. Well stated. Raymentwire is a father and son business that began in 1987, in which they resurrected old French and Victorian designs and went on to create their own extensive catalogue of designs including garden furniture, interior furnishings, candle holders and chandeliers, planters and many other ornamental garden structures including sculpture. They even offer a ‘Bespoke Service’ for clients who desire custom pieces! True craftsmanship in modern times. Isn’t it exciting to discover that there are still hand-crafted traditions carried on by craftsmen that hold true to the values and quality of the past?
French wirework has a long history in homewares. It is said that wirework had its humble beginnings as a means to repair priceless broken pottery in 17th century Slovakia. Wirework was also used heavily with the art of hand-crafted jewelry. Gradually, the use of wirework is said to have spread throughout Europe. During the Victorian Era of British history, in which there was a transition toward romanticism, wirework thrived. The art of wirework is romantic, indeed. Certainly, the French took the skill of wire work and created their own art form in the creation of chairs, benches and other wire work accessories. All credit seems to be given to the French in regards to the tradition of decorative wirework, and also to the influences of the Victorian Era. With this said, having somewhat of an understanding as to its history is vital to appreciating the art of such a beautiful craft.
Consider the timeless tradition of beauty of French wirework. When in use in an outdoor space, or as a decorative and useful feature in an interior, grace and beauty is surely to be added. Whether the classic and timeless tradition of French wirework finds its way within in the landscape of your exterior, or within your domain in terms of accessories or seating, consider the graceful and enduring appeal that it adds. French wirework can visually add charm to any landscape or interior. The graceful, open style will lend an airy, light feel to any space.
“The ebb and flow of seasons change, refreshing the gardens soul with a new coat of color, while permanent structures look on in silent appreciation”- Raymentwirework
Perfectly stated. When we think of our garden seating as a permanent structure that looks on in ‘silent appreciation’ to the changing seasons, we have in fact, given real purpose to those structures. A seat is not just a seat. It is a statement that graces our landscapes and provides a perch from which to view the world, indeed.