Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Since writing my last blog about my friend, Roy, with the greenest of fingers, he has kindly sent me the names of the stunning roses and clematis and so I have now inserted them. He also mentioned, en passant, that they were delphiniums not hollyhocks!

Well now you have another treat in store. Roy is a greatly admired master of the classical French/Italian art form of Découpage and apart from having been President of The Guild of British of Découpeurs, (www.découpageguild.co.uk) he has taught  Découpage in the Victoria and Albert Museum and was also invited to pass on his expertise to an enthusiastic group of decoupeurs in Italy where he is held in great esteem. He is always very generous with his knowledge and praise.  Roy's work is not only original, but he is a perfectionist, creating elegant objects with the finest cutting and design and of course a surface like porcelain. Those are the techniques that make a treasured and revered piece of Découpage.

Découpage, to put it simply, is the art of decorating surfaces with cut out paper.   It came to the fore around the 17th to 18th century, first in Italy and then in France. Venetian cabinet makers began applying artists' drawings and paintings to furniture and covering them with lacquer in order to ape the ornate decorated furniture being imported from the Far East, and which became so popular that the supply could not keep up with the demand. It became the rage with ladies in Europe who would sit snipping away at pictures to decorate various objects from fans to fire screens and boxes. It has had many famous practitioners such as Marie Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour, Lord Byron, Matisse and Picasso.  In1972 The National Guild of Découpeurs was formed in the USA to promote this fascinating and beautiful art  in its purest form.  Go to www.decoupage.org and look at their Gallery of Art to see wonderful and inspirational examples of the best in Découpage.

I am too vain not to mention that I too was a member of the National Guild of Découpeurs, having had the unique and unforgettable good fortune of going to the USA to study under many of its greatest exponents. After that I created and taught and wrote about this richly absorbing art form. I only gave it up because I broke my shoulder badly and could not continue. However, as so often happens, good came out of evil as the door opened for me to create my Images de Plumes.

However, to get a taste of what you can see on the above website, first look at the following examples of the very special and varied work done by Roy Larking.
NB: Of the floral tea set, only the tray is découpaged. The initials are hand coloured. Note the faux marquetry on the writing slope and on the images to the right of that.

Before I finish, one more photo,  a magnificent Boulle box by Roy, he writes  -
"The box is meant to mimic the work of Frenchman Andre Charles Boulle (1642 - 1732) which I so admire. "Boulle work"consisted of metal and turtleshell marquetry.  It is essentially engraved brass, into which is set turtle shell. Boulle's work was the feature of the furniture which graced apartments in the Palace of Versailles and elsewhere".


  1. amazing and so artistic...Lovely! thanks for passing this along to the blog world!

  2. Roy is the most charming and generous man that I know: he is generous in teaching and sharing the techniques, but also a smart person who transfers this characteristic in the objects with proposes creating a very elegant découpage.

  3. I'm a fan of his work with feathers.
    I work as a hobby to decoupage and I was allowed to put a link on my blog of his wonderful works.
    Best regards

  4. Beautiful works I lake it!
    Kisses from Croatia.
    Zondar Art