Gilded Pleasures by TENNANT & TENNANT is a new interiors collection launched by sisters Isabel and Stella Tennant at their first major London exhibition.
This selling show presented at Ben Pentreath Ltd, 49 Lambs Conduit St, London, WC1 is open to the public from Friday 12th to Monday 15th September, 11am-6pm.
‘I’m thrilled to be able to showcase the extraordinary work of the sisters Issy and Stella Tennant. Their first collection of lamps, mirrors and objects—gessoed, burnished and water-gilded—represent the combination of their many worlds, a place where fashion and fine art meets natural history and craft made by hand. Like Issy and Stella themselves, their work is rooted in the country but is at home everywhere – fascinating, curious, multi- facteted and glittering. I can’t wait to see the early 18th century rooms of our studio in Lambs Conduit Street transformed – for a few extraordinary days – into a beautiful cabinet of curiosities and delights to launch Stella and Issy’s collection.’ Ben Pentreath
Isabel Tennant and her younger sister Stella grew up in the Scottish Borders. Isabel was trained as a gilder and decorative artist at City and Guilds Art School, London. Stella went to Winchester College of Art where she specialised in sculpture and learnt to weld. Isabel and Stella now share a studio in Scotland where they hand make lamp bases, mirrors, carved flowers and decorative panels. Together they explore water gilding and oil gilding, traditional techniques that have not changed for hundreds of years and are identical to those used by Renaissance artists and craftsmen.
The gold leaf is burnished using polished agate to give a high shine. Sometimes it is then rubbed down so as to see the coloured clay or watercolour beneath. Gold leaf comes in many shades from rose pink ‘Moon Gold’ to pale green ‘Lemon Gold’ as well as classic yellows. Silvery palladium and caplain are also used. The sisters are both fascinated by the natural world and designs take inspiration from insects and plants. Others are based on Japanese geometric patterns.