In 2010, my brother-in-law, Henri Gandois was conducting some archeological excavations in the island of Molene, situated in the North West of France. After the excavation was completed, Henri decided to thank the group of archeologists working on the site. He contacted me to know if it was possible to make a mold and cast in bronze a shell typical of the island. Since I was involved in the lost-wax casting process in New York, I took on the project, and after few months I was able to ship to France, twenty bronze shells. The archeologists were all delighted.
From there, the idea of creating a mirror and sconces came to me. At a closer look, I observed that the shell was full of details and texture. I realized how Nature can create such intricate patterns and how harmonious these patterns will work if I used them ensemble at a larger scale. The result of these reflections is my Molène mirror and sconces. They represent the beauty of nature and the ability, through design and craftsmanship, to transform this beauty into functional forms. Like in a work of art, the more and closer you look at it, the more you discover what makes the piece unique. Beauty is in the details.
Texture, patterns and geometry. These are my three cardinal points for design. Either found in nature or produced at my studio, texture allows me to view an entire piece before its creation. Like in fractals, texture keeps repeating to create patterns. Then geometry takes over and these patterns emerge as geometrical forms. These geometrical forms (circles, squares, rectangles and triangles) are basic forms understood by all. What interests me is the contradiction between the universality of these geometric forms and the singularity of the textures that inspired them. At first glance, they are easy to “read”, but their texture forces the viewer to pay attention to the details and have a “second reading” of the work.
The Brutalist style in my textures and the sculptural nature of my work are perhaps the best ways for me to present these contradictions between the universal and singular. It is in this contradiction that I seek harmony. A visually harmony that, in my sculptural lighting, will hopefully have the viewer discovering always new details. As Picasso said: “The hidden harmony is better than the obvious”
For the curious mind, Nature always offers an endless source of inspiration. From textures, patterns and geometric forms to vibrant colors in any imaginable hue. As in a ready-made piece by Duchamp, Nature offers artists the possibility to take forms already existing in nature and bring them to the attention of an audience. That is my aim in my Nature Collection of table lamps and sconces.
Once I discover an interesting texture and shape in nature, I imagine them in a geometric and functional form. After that, using the lost-wax process, these shapes are cast in bronze, and then patinated to reflect or not their original natural color. The Robur table lamp and Bamboo sconces and lamps are the result of these observations and process.
As in my Molene and Brutalist Collection, I choose textures and forms that make the viewer discover new and interesting details about the works. The geometry in my designs is always direct, the details are for the curious minds.
Creating a furniture collection has always been a challenge to me. After mastering the techniques for cast bronze and metal fabrication, I always had the desire to create furniture that combine these techniques with the use of new ones. That is how my Mobilier Collection was born.
After meeting Swiss carpenter Rolf Sagesser and furniture restorer Patrick Durrenmatt, I decided to create a collection that combined my metal work experience with their use of noble woods such as walnut, oak and mohagony.
The result is my Mobilier Collection, a collection that combines my interest in geometry, metal and my new interest in working with wood.
As in all my designs, I constatly strive to provide my works with a sense of balance and elegance.