We’ve been travelling again – in inspiring India this time – and we’ve fallen madly in love. We couldn’t tear ourselves away from these hand-crafted bone inlay beauties on our roaming in Rajasthan…so we’ve brought them back with us. For you. Because that’s the kind of thing we do.
The perfect complement to spring and summer styling, pair with fresh foliage (faux or otherwise), rattan and wicker furniture, rich dark timbers, plush rugs and a new season colour palette or navy, teal, lime, coral, grey, walnut and white – a decorator’s delight! These are delicate, detailed, unique, intricate patterned pieces which, if you look after them, will be with you for generations. We’re talking heirloom furniture at its finest. Sooo excited. But before you start scrolling – and drooling – here’s a quick recap of what the art of bone inlay is all about.
Bone Inlay 101
The intricate craft of creating bone inlay furniture is a timeless tradition handed down between generations in the Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur regions of Rajasthan. One of the most recognisable art forms indigenous to India, its origins lie with royal maharajas who commissioned the creation of bone inlay pieces to showcase their wealth and social status to all who visited their palaces.
The nature of bone inlay means no two pieces are identical, and the process to create each product is intricate and time-consuming, with every item taking up to a month to make. The process begins with artisans delicately shaping bone fragments (ethically sourced from camels deceased via natural causes) which are then affixed onto timber frames in a detailed, distinctive pattern. The next step involves filling the background area with resin – often using a distinctive colour. Once dried, the finished product is sanded and buffed with purpose-built tools to create a smooth, statement finish.
See for yourself…
Check out a sample of the range below, head in-store for more or browse online at www.mattblatt.com.au. And, once you’ve fallen in love, scroll down for our quick rundown on how to care for your beautiful bone inlay at home.
Cleaning – and caring for – bone inlay furniture
To keep your bone inlay furniture looking gorgeous – be gentle! Like with all organic materials or delicate pieces, it’s imperative you avoid harsh cleaning products. Like marble, bone inlay furniture has a porous surface, so if you’re planning to use a bone inlay piece in a high-traffic area at home, sealing it with a quality grout sealant should be a high priority.
To prolong its life, and luxe good looks, we also recommend gently wiping it with a small amount of furniture wax, or, ideally, colourless beeswax from time to time to keep the resin between the bone pieces supple – and prevent it from drying out. It’s also important you don’t put your bone inlay treasure too close to a heater, as too much expansion and contraction of the wood and inlay work can cause the resin to dry and crack.
To clean your bone inlay, use a lightly moistened lint-free cloth and dab gently. For more stubborn dirt, you’ll need a 1:20 ratio of spirit soap to white spirit on the same type of cloth – but tread very lightly to avoid dislodging any of the inlaid bone pieces. Vigorous rubbing is not bone inlay’s friend, and testing your cleaning strategy on a small, less visible area before you get underway is a wise move.