Here’s the third and final instalment on my visit to Benchmark’s Toolbox Talks last month. As well as the earlier talks by guest speakers on paint colouring and textile design, Sean Sutcliffe of Benchmark talked about metalworking.
It’s crucial for interior designers to really understand the production process involved in different specialist techniques, as that’s what enables us to use these methods successfully and effectively in our finished design work.
Metal patination allows many different colours or shades to be created from a range of base metals. Using chemicals, it’s possible to darken metals, and create effects that age or soften the looks of the finishes. Over several stages the finish can be gradually changed and then fixed once it has reached the desired effect.
Moving over to their workshop, members of the Benchmark team demonstrated the processes involved.
The use of different metals for different applications was also covered. The malleability of certain metals in particular – zinc and pewter – allows them to be used as coverings for bars, counters, and bespoke pieces. In the workshop we saw a demonstration of pewter being worked to cover a mobile bar which is being made or London’s Royal Opera House. The metal was soldered and cut before being rolled ready for sanding and polishing.
What they are able to produce is very impressive, and it was fascinating to see the production process for ourselves.