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The Relief Technique

We love exploring ancient techniques used within artwork, furniture and designs. The relief technique is an adventurous one because it can be found within many mediums such as stone, wood and bronze. It also has various forms. A relief is a method in which sculpted pieces are bonded to a solid background of the same material. The main four types of relief sculpture are low, medium, high and sunken. Join us as we share how we have used this technique within our designs.

In The Potting Shed at Dorset Square Hotel, you will find a collection of sculpted pieces by the master of plaster casting, Peter Hone. His relief sculptures depict a variety of subjects from lions, botanicals, a sphinx and architectural details. He gains inspiration from objects and relief sculptures in his studio and at home.

The relief technique can also be found within the engravings of our fireplaces. Each fireplace has a character of its own. In Suite 101 at Knightsbridge Hotel a crisp white fireplace adds a layer of depth, whilst a more traditional stone fireplace adds character in Tiffany’s Library at Covent Garden Hotel.

In The Orangery at The Whitby Hotel, this mirrored cabinet has wood carved reliefs of religious figures and saints. It reminds us of religious mediaeval portals – on a much smaller scale of course! Carved from one piece of wood, its intricate details never fail to amaze.

Unique objects such as this characterful panel found in our Orangery at Ham Yard Hotel is a great way to spark a conversation.

The relief technique can also be found outdoors. Here at our commercial office project Richmond Buildings, we have included this water feature. A stone water fountain which features a sculpted relief of a man. Simple yet beautiful relief pottery can also be included as accessories.

These table lamps at Haymarket Hotel have relief carved botanical details. The contrasting finish of the lighter wood against a darker base complements Christopher Farr’s ‘Carnival’ wallpaper which lines the walls.

Reliefs can also be found within one of our favourite design techniques – woodblock printing. Designs can be carved into a wooden block to create a relief form which can then be applied to fabric or paper. At Ham Yard Hotel an antique wooden printing block is on display in the Drawing Room.

We are always mesmerised by the beautiful details that the relief technique creates! Explore more of our favourite craft techniques with our blog post The Magic of Applique.

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