Penwork is a watercolour technique, first popular in the first half of the 1800’s, which seeks to simulate the glamour and richness of ivory-inlaid furniture and the intricacy of the exotic lacquer cabinets and screens of the Orient.

Furniture, often made of a pale wood such as pine or satinwood, is first japanned black and then flowers, scrolls, arabesques or designs are added with the details and shading executed in black India ink with a fine quill pen. The effect is delicate and lacy, rather like an etching in reverse, with white or coloured motifs on a black ground. Gosling has rejuvenated the technique, much influenced by its Regency popularity, to bring pattern and depth to our designs.