Making scagliola nowadays is the same technique craftsmen used centuries ago.
Materials and tools are basicly the same, except for a few essential updates, such as sanding paper instead of plumice.
The term scagliola refers to a variety of gypsum found in nature in the form of lamina or chips. It's a particular inlay technique that uses the scagliola itself together with other materials such as coloured pigments and natural glue mixed together.
In the 16th Century, scagliola was mostly used to mimic marble veining and marquetry. Subsequently, the pliability of the mix was discovered as the eloborative technique.
In the 17th Century, scagliola became a true artistic expression itself. It demonstrated to be capable to figure a wider range of colours to build great impact Masterpieces.
Scagliola table tops are produced in:
- Hardstone, also called slate, which is more durable and light
- Marble, slightly lighter in price, but more hard to work with.
The technique of scagliola in hardstone is somewhat less time consuming, as the material is less hard. To make scagliola in marble is therefore more time consuming.
As hardstone is more expensive than marble, but easier to work with, there's hardly any price difference.
Price difference of scagliola table tops is due to the complexity of the patterns of decorations.