Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Arceau Cheval d'Orient

From Hermes -
Courtesy of Hermes
In deference to the year of the horse, this seemed like a perfect new collection to feature tonight.
So here's the news, straight from the source -

In a cavalcade of motifs inspired by one of the iconic service sets by the Maison Herm├Ęs, Arceau Cheval d’Orient highlights the art of French lacquer through three horological compositions.
Courtesy of Hermes
To give life to these equestrian scenes from a dream-like Orient, all the patience and meticulous care of an experienced lacquer specialist are devoted to taking up the challenge of miniaturization. 

Inventiveness is also called upon, since French lacquer craftsmanship on a metal base, instead of the traditional wood or bamboo, requires a partial revisiting of the traditional techniques. 
Courtesy of Hermes

With a fine-tipped brush, the artisan applies the first layers of lacquer – pigments mixed with a copal-based varnish – while respecting three days’ drying time between each coat, before proceeding to extremely fine sanding and adding the following layer. Building the work in stages, the lacquer specialist repeats this alternating process of careful gestures for many weeks, adding up to 30 or so coats in order to achieve a deep black base.
Courtesy of Hermes

The artisan then turns artist. After outlining with a pencil the contours of the design on the perfectly lacquered dial, comes the preparation of the palette of colorsfinely crushing and mixing the pigments to achieve the desired shades. The brush is deftly wielded to gradually bring the colors of the motif to life, by applying them one by one in successive coats until the entire pattern is reproduced. No less than 10 days of drying are required before superimposing 20 layers of transparent lacquer, which also require lengthy drying. An ultimate polish then reveals the extreme finesse of a design imbued with the subtle depth and vivid colors that only lacquer can achieve. 
Courtesy of Hermes

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