Stunning Metal Furnishings That Mimic Classic Marquetry

Designer Alexandr Zhikulin's inventive, hand-crafted steel creations are now available from Maison Gerard

Photo: Courtesy of Maison Gerard

“Gun-metal marquetry” is what Alexandr Zhikulin, a young designer in Baltimore, Maryland, calls his steel furnishings with surfaces that echo traditional straw inlays. “Genius, phenomenal craftsmanship” is how Benoist Drut of Maison Gerard describes the work, which his gallery now represents. Zhikulin starts by oxidizing the steel to give it a dark patina. “Then it’s a reductive process to create the pattern,” he explains. “Each line is hand abraded.” It’s labor-intensive, requiring about 100 hours to make the sunburst side table below—an homage to a Jean-Michel Frank classic. “I’m equally drawn to frivolous gaud and cerebral minimalism,” says Zhikulin. “I think my work is an amalgam of the two.”