Friday, September 7, 2012

Faux Bois

Faux Bois, is French for false wood, and is the artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in several elements.  This artistry dates back to the Renaissance and trompe-l’oeil (deceive the eye), which is a technique involving realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that objects exist in three dimensions.  Joseph Monier, inventor of ferrocement (reinforced concrete), a combination of cement and sand coated over layers of woven steel mesh, designed the first bridge of reinforced concrete over the moat at the Chateau Chazelet in France in 1875. It was carved and molded to look like timbers and logs. In Mexico and Texas, this craft is sometimes known as “El Trabajo Rustico” (The Rustic Work) and has a more realistic look as compared to European work.  Dionicio Rodriquez, a Mexican who moved to Texas in the early 1920s is a highly regarded artist who worked in this technique and his works have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.