The studio of Dominic Schuster Ltd has grown from its roots in the restoration and conservation of antiques and is now recognised as one of the most respected suppliers
of antiqued and gilded glass in the industry. Dominic is the studio’s artistic force and skilled craftsmen and women work alongside him to fulfil the demands of this niche market. The studio works with some of the worlds most respected interior designers and architects, enabling their products to be used in a vast range of settings from kitchens to super-yachts. The studio offers a complete service, from design and site surveying, to delivery and installation. (Both in the UK and overseas.)
Using glass and mirror in varying thicknesses and sizes, the studio creates finishes that authentically replicate the natural degradation of mercury/silvered mirror to bespoke effects incorporating silver and gold for a more contemporary look.
The process of creating an antiqued glass mirror panel or tile is very much an artistic one; a variety of secret techniques will be used to build up the right level of ‘foxing’ (aging) and achieve the exact look sought. For example, ‘Mercury Sparkle’ is a slightly distressed effect and catches the light only slightly to sparkle as the name suggests, whereas ‘Heavy Mercury’ recreates the look of vintage mirror glass that is hundreds of years old, has degraded significantly, and reflects very little light. Fusing antiqued mirror with wallpaper, fine art photography and fabric, the studio has created a new finish: Mirror & Imagery. Working closely with clients’ specifications, panels of mirror are carefully antiqued to softly blend mirror and print. The result is a beautiful decorative feature which can be inset into joinery, used as wall-panelling, or simply as tableware.
The studio’s experience in the field of restoration and gilding enables them to undertake all manner of assignments from individual items to large architectural projects. As well as undertaking gilded and painted schemes, they provide a research and project management service, with full condition and scientific analysis reports.
Using their extensive knowledge of decorative finishes, they also create beautifully hand finishes such as ‘faux lacquer’, a beautiful undulated finish created by slowly building up layers of paint and varnish. The finish can be used on furniture and also over existing painted woodwork, walls or panelling.
The studio also specialises in the conservation, restoration and commission of antique and modern painted furniture. With antique painted furniture, no item is ever considered to be beyond repair and particular emphasis is put on retaining as much of the original surface as possible. The item should never look restored, but well-maintained keeping age and patina. The studio also works on papier mâché, tôle, arte povera and painted leather and also restores both Oriental Lacquer and European Japanned furniture. The method applied to European furniture is called Japanning and generally consists of oil and spirit varnishes. Coming from the sap of a tree, Oriental Lacquer (Urushi) is very different in appearance and is the closest natural substance to plastic. The studio uses materials bought directly from Japan.