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20 June 2014 – French Savoir-Faire

On the edge of the wood… the art of marquetery

On the edge of the wood…

By Marie Le Fort

In celebration of an ancient skill that is historically both rich and prestigious, Parisian gallery Ymer & Malta, lead by Valérie Maltaverne, revives a French savoir-faire: the art of marquetry.

« Faire Feu de Tout Bois ».

This is the title of the collection devised according to the laws of the art by a masterful artisan of marquetry. Unveiled at Design Miami/Basel, these 5 unique pieces, produced especially for the show, created a strong bond between decorative art and contemporary design. Better still, they established themselves like an invisible link between ‘historic’ pieces presented chez Jacques Perrin or Sebastien + Barquet and 21st century avant-garde design, in the style of the talented Sebastian Bergne, Benjamin Graindorge, Normal Studio and Sylvain Rieu Piquet.

The Tuiles Volantes sideboard by Sébastian Graindorge or Normal Studio’s Platane bench

– On – recovered entirely by marquetry that imitate perfectly the camouflage pattern – you will discover thousands of old wood chips and colour that juxtapose unique grains: grey and green marsh oak, ebony white, macassar ebony, sycamore, pear trees and lemon groves. You’ve never seen anything like it.

Familiar with 17 grains of wood, much like the different shades on an artist’s palette,

Sébastian Graindorge’s Tuiles Volantes form a true landscape that comes to life, creating spiralling plumes of smoke. Less ethereal is the Illusion coffee table by Sebastian Bergne, which injects a series of brass, bronze and tin ellipses into a block of ebony: a kinetic version of marquetry that takes you by surprise. And commands admiration.

On the animal side of things, table surfaces adopt their own reptilian airs, like Black Snake Blues by Sylvain Rieu Piquet and InMySkin by Benjamin Graindorge, with their interlocking, shimmering scales, or an ebony white slough ribbed with black. The temptation to touch is irresistible, urging you to slide your hand across the perfectly smooth surface…
Having given a prestigious, contemporary reputation to marble and leather, Ymer & Malta use this capsule collection to revisit an ancient, and abandoned, savoir-faire, and to inspire creativity and vision in the revival of French design. Hats off to them!
The pieces will be exhibited in September 2014 in the Parisian gallery, 44 rue de la Condamine, Paris 17e.
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