Black Lacquer Panels


Black Lacquer Panels

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The seven panels shown above were part of an installation that also included four crown moldings, an over door panel, a door frame, and a window frame. The original concept was based upon a set of Italian antique green and gold panels. Each of these panels were divided vertically into three parts; the top portion in the style of a rococo arabesque, the center area comprised of a framed porcelain plate set within a diaper pattern contained by rococo flourishes, and the bottom part a chinoiserie scene under another diaper pattern bordered by more scrolls and foliate elements.  The project model that I made is shown below.

Rococo Style Lacquer Panel

The type of porcelain used was not clear from the photographs, so in making my model, I selected a Kakiemon pattern of “tiger, bamboo, prunus”. A plate of that design is shown below.

In preparing the model,  I changed the colors a bit, and adapted the design to fit on my small wooden “plate”.

During the design process, there was a change in direction. The art work would be in the style of English chinoiserie, with the overall design adapted from Chinese black lacquer screens . The model is shown below.

English Style Lacquer Panel

At this point, the only element of the original plan that was retained was the effect of the colorful porcelain plates, which were to be of an Imari design. Instead of featuring them in the center of each panel, an idea was conceived of placing two plates on each of the four walls within the gilded framework of the uniquely designed lacquer crown molding. Ultimately, instead of porcelain, a decision was made to substitute painted plates, as shown below.

 Detail of Crown Molding Showing Painted Wooden Plates

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