Gallery: Look what I made out of napkins
Leave Catalan artist Joan Sallas alone in a dining hall with a tablecloth and some napkins for a few hours, and you might return to find a garden of paper lilies or a zoo of posturing beasts.
But the world's leading (if not only) expert on napkin folding is not some space-filler on a Martha Stewart show.
Sallas, 48, has built a career as a master craftsman and artist and also as a writer, researcher and lecturer of the lost art of linen folding.
Working from old engravings and records dating to Renaissance Italy, Sallas has revived the art of European dining culture, in which nobles and royalty would compete over who had the more elaborate table decorations at banquets, resulting in dramatic fabric sculptures.
Following exhibitions across the United States and Europe, Sallas' works went on display in the United Kingdom for the first time this week at the Holbourne Museum in Bath.
Titled "Folded Beauty: Masterpieces in Linen by Joan Sallas," the exhibit recreates the magnificent centerpieces that adorned the tables of European courts.
The show's highlight is a 7.5-meter-long table display in the museum's Ballroom Gallery.
"Folded Beauty: Masterpieces in Linen by Joan Sallas"
February 2-April 28, 2013
The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath, England; +44 1225 388569; Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; www.holburne.org