ARTISAN TECHNIQUE SPOTLIGHT: BAS RELIEF


Plaster bas relief, an Artistic Collaboration with Daher Interior Design and SuperStrata | Photography: Michael J. Lee

A Welcome Revival

The ancient art form of bas relief has seen a resurgence, adorning luxury interior spaces with both subtle and elaborate contemporary designs. Translated as “low relief,” this artisan technique produces patterns and figures slightly raised from a surface, in contrast to a “high relief” where an object protrudes more than halfway.

SuperStrata artisans’ intricate reliefs ranging from scenes of flora and fauna to geometric patterns enhance ceilings and become centerpieces in residences. Eva Pep is especially talented at this, with her technique of creating bas relief designs in situ, and bringing her vivid imagination and detailed eye to projects of any scale.



1. Abstract bas relief created by SuperStrata artisan Eva Pep.

2. Metallic bas relief by SuperStrata artisan Eva Pep.


1. Woodland bas relief frieze designed by Jonas Everets and created by SuperStrata for Robert Couturier.

2. Details of Walker Tower lobby bas relief frieze designed by Jonas Everets and created by SuperStrata.

 

Art Deco inspired bas relief frieze designed by Jonas Everets and created by SuperStrata for the historic renovation of Manhattan’s Walker Tower lobby


 

Awe-Inspiring Ancient Technique


The first bas reliefs were seen in caves and later on in ancient Egyptian architecture. Their popularity continued through the ages and are seen across the world, making appearances in buildings and temples such as the Parthenon and Angkor Wat. Periodically blended with high reliefs for contrast and perspective, the historic and artistic impact of this art form is undeniable.


An intricate woodland bas relief library frieze in a Bedford country home designed by Jonas Everets and created by SuperStrata for Robert Couturier


 

The Modern Process The typical process of bas relief for modern interior applications begins with a design sketch. After being transferred to wax or clay, the form is carved from the surface by an artisan using various tools until all that remains is the intended raised design. A mold is then made from the original form. It is then cast with plaster and set, revealing the final bas relief ready for display.


1. Sketch of an elaborate avian scene based on the poem Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds).

2. Design carved out of clay.


1. Plaster drying in the mold.

2. The final bas relief scene cast in plaster.