Since Artefunto’s inception 16 years ago, collaboration has been at the heart of our efforts. The process of making a plate is a labour of love for everyone involved. It consists of a marriage of skills and of partnerships. Ultimately, it is a communal process – and the result is a piece of art formed in collective consciousness.

Some of the crucial members of our team include Thin, our in-house master wood and lacquer artist and craftsman as well as Philimon, who is responsible for finishing, polishing and eggshell work. Our primary artist, Werner, is responsible for the artistic and creative conception of the pieces.
Lacquering is an ancient technique that has been around for thousands of years, and it’s this traditional technique that we use in the creation of our extraordinary contemporary art. We are so confident in our skills that we dare to offer a lifetime guarantee for every single piece sold. We’ve never had a piece of art returned.

The plates are made from chipboard wood. These are by-particles left over from the process of traditional furniture manufacturing. These chips are glued together and pressed into wooden sheets. Several pieces of the sheet is then glued together and ultimately steam-pressed into a bowl like shape. The pieces are then left to cure – we constantly have to measure the moisture content in order to ensure that it gets to a level that is perfect for the integrity of the wood. When this process is finalised, the piece is sanded down in order to ensure a smooth surface. Thereafter, the layers of lacquer is applied. Between the various layers of lacquer, we drape and glue cotton
over the plate – this strengthens the plate. We apply up to 14 layers of lacquer, to the point where we are completely satisfied that the finish is as smooth as possible.

The last step in the process requires that we glue a very fine sheet of silver leaf over the lacquered finish. This last step effectively ensures a canvas. The silver leaf greatly enhances the colours of the piece; to the extent that the colours almost ‘pop’ off the canvas and become translucent in appearance. The majority of our clients are actually convinced that the plates are made of glass. No one, upon seeing the plates for the first time, can guess that it is actually made from recycled wood chips. The medium that we use is oil. Oil is quite time consuming to paint with as each level needs to dry before another can be applied. It is for this reason that we work on 2-3 pieces at any given time.

In our abstract designs particularly, we use ostrich eggshell and mother of pearl in order to highlight certain areas and to ensure a truly tactile look and finish. The eggshell and mother of pearl are glued on piece by piece on completion of the oil-painting process. The final steps consist of a coat of clear lacquer and intense polishing – this ensure a perfectly smooth and shiny final appearance.

We crate our pieces and airfreight them all over the world. We’ve had hundreds of happy clients after successful deliveries. The prices include crating, insurance and air freight cost to the nearest international airport. Please have a look at our portfolio here.