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Thomas Kennedy

Thomas Kennedy Scagliola maker
Contact
English
Hours:
By appointment only
Phone:
+44 7790798320
© All rights reserved

Mirroring marble

  • • Thomas’s first workshop was in a disused bank near London’s Borough Market
  • • Scagliola, or imitation marble, dates from around 400 years ago
  • • His work involves the skill of an artist, chef and stonemason

As a teenager, Thomas Kennedy often helped his father, an antiques dealer, with repairs and restorations. Later, as a student, he helped restore a Jacobean plaster ceiling, which in turn led to other similar projects. “All those years in conservation gave me a good training in materials and principles, which helped me learn scagliola,” he says. However, he had never even heard of the craft when he was commissioned to create his first scagliola tabletop. After much research, and realising few others were doing it, he decided to dedicate himself to this centuries-old craft of creating imitation marble. Using nothing but plaster, pigments and rabbit-skin glue, Thomas creates marble-like surfaces in myriad colours and patterns, usually for tabletops, inlay pictures and sculptures.

Read the full interview

Works

  • © Tom Foxall
  • © Tom Foxall
  • © Tom Foxall
  • © Tom Foxall
  • © Tom Foxall
Photo: © Tom Foxall
Detail from dining tabletop inlaid with butterflies and other insects

Thomas has inlaid this black tabletop with a fluttering host of colourful scagliola butterflies and other insects, some based on real ones, others from his imagination. Scagliola is a composite material imitating marble and other hard stones. The whole tabletop is decorated apart from the edges, which are left plain for the plates and glasses.

Width 80 cm
Length 200 cm

Thomas Kennedy Scagliola maker
Photo: © Tom Foxall
Detail from one of a pair of console tops inlaid with koi carp

Thomas created a shoal of scagliola koi carp in collaboration with cabinet maker Rupert McBain, who came up with the concept. Scagliola is a composite material imitating marble and other hard stones. The inlaid fish seem to be swimming naturally through a black pool. The piece was technically challenging and was completed with a high level of fine detail.

Width 60 cm
Length 180 cm

Thomas Kennedy Scagliola maker
Photo: © Tom Foxall
Newton coffee table

Thomas designed this contemporary table for his own home. His idea was to create something that appeared to behave against the rules of gravity, hence the name “Newton”. Scagliola is a composite material imitating marble and other hard stones. The beautiful pigment is indanthrone blue, which Thomas uses often.

Width 65 cm
Length 152 cm
Height 44 cm

Thomas Kennedy Scagliola maker
Photo: © Tom Foxall
Scagliola sample

This piece was created as an experiment investigating the stretching and smearing of material while casting. Thomas remarked that he is often surprised by scagliola, which in this case reminded him of satellite imagery of our planet. Scagliola is a composite material imitating marble and other hard stones.

Width 20 cm
Length 45 cm

Thomas Kennedy Scagliola maker
Photo: © Tom Foxall
Scagliola sample

Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland has four old scagliola columns in its reception area. Scagliola is a composite material imitating marble and other hard stones. The owners wanted to create a new reception desk from the same material, so Thomas spent several days with his workshop set up in the reception, trying to work out the recipe and intriguing – and entertaining – all the guests.

Width 15 cm
Length 15 cm

Thomas Kennedy Scagliola maker

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