The major restoration of the Refreshment Room in the House of Lords enabled greater public access.This provided an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable work of ANW Pugin, one of our greatest designers , and his colleague, the Royal decorator John Gregory Crace in what is arguably one of the finest buildings in the world. A major element of this work was the authentic re creation of the ‘ Tapestry’ paper, a gorgeous double flock on a gilded background, usingthe traditional materials and methods of the period.The work was carried out in our studios in Gloucestershire in what became a community project with a emphasis on re engaging with traditional skills. The journey began at the Victoria and Albert Museum to study the original small samples of the wallpaper held in their archives, assess the material and methods used and record the design. This was then drawn out and prepared for transfer onto cherrywood blocks ready for carving.The team at Aryma Marquetry helped by first laser cutting the design which we then finished by hand in our studio. The gold ground was laid, the paper embossed using original 19th century rollers and the flock printed. Perfect registration was absolutely essential as the two colours of flock needed to match exactly without overlap. Once dry, the paper was hand trimmed and hung by the team, which included Allyson and Adrian McDermott, Den and Cath Condon, Mandy and Sophie Awre and Emily, our intern from Winterthur.US
With thanks to all at the Palace of Westminster and Donald Insall Associates (www.donaldinsallassociates.co.uk ) for making this such an enjoyable project.