Dear Christian, thank you for taking the time to tell me a little bit about
yourself and your product and object design. Before we start, could you
tell me a little bit about yourself?
I live and work in the heights of a small village in the south of France. At 900m high. I am surrounded by nature, trees, mountains which offers me most of the furniture I need to work. Mostly, the wood. I am not a great drawer, so most of my ideas stay in my head. Therefore I need to get in touch with the material, rather it is by touching it, smelling it or seeing it.
What made you want to become a furniture/object designer?
Several years ago, I lived in Marseille and worked as a parqueteur. I loved my job and made
a good living. But I felt like I needed something else, even if I didn’t know exactly what.
One day, I was having a walk and stopped by a shop that was selling lamps made from
reclaimed items. I stared at the window shop for a little while. I was amazed. And I told
myself “that is exactly what I want to do”. Today I don’t make lamps from reclaimed objects anymore, but I found what was missing in my life: creativity.
How would you describe your style?
This is a tough question. I don’t really have a style. I think it is a big mess in my head, I like every kind of style: ethnic, industrial, Venetian, Scandinavian. My desires change every day, and I try to follow them as well as I can.
Your work seems to have a beautiful symbiosis between rough and elegant, hard and soft. What is the reasoning behind this beautiful and unique combination of materials and textures?
In fact, it is a good description of myself. My relatives often say that about me. That I am tough and difficult to understand, but deep down very sweet too. I think that one can not create without giving a part of himself to the creation, that is certainly where the resonance comes from.
When choosing materials for your designs, what are some key factors you are looking for?
The specifications of a good product for me are not only aesthetic but mainly ecologic. Ecology is very important for me, so every material that I use must fit with my way of living. For example, when I buy wood, it has to be FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) labeled. And when I pick wood in the forest, it is always from a tree that is already dead. Plus the Finish od the products are made with a minimum of chemical products, if possible no chemicals at all. Except, to my dismay, when I work metals because there isn’t any natural product existing to treat this material.
What is your secret on staying inspired and energized to constantly create new and beautiful objects?
Actually, I always want to try new techniques and new materials. It makes me stay productive.
I started this work with transformed objects, then I learned to work metals, carpenters techniques to work wood and I recently started woodturning. Who knows what I’ll be doing next?
Being a designer and sharing your creative point-of-view can be as vulnerable as it is inspiring, are you ever afraid of failure?
Of course, I am afraid of failure, because I never know how people will react to my creations. Showing each new production is a challenge. There is even some that I have never shown to anyone, and are sleeping quietly in my workshop. But it is true that when I get compliments about my work when there is a craze for a new item, it is extremely encouraging. It fills me with good energy and gives me new motivation!
Do you have a personal favorite object? What makes this object special to you?
I confess that it was hard for me to answer this question. But quite simply my favorite object is the one that I have always in my pocket: a knife. In any situation, it can be useful. I don’t see it as a weapon of course but as a super useful object. And I love the shape of it, it has a perfect balance.
What do you enjoy most while designing and creating?
My work doesn’t only bring me the satisfaction of being able to create something I imagined.
It makes me feel deeply awake, I fully live the present moment. All my senses are awakened, I can see clearly, feel every little sensation in my body. I think one can compare this to meditation, I feel like I am giving a lot of love through my work.
In your option, what are the qualities of good design?
Design is by definition an object that combines aesthetic and functionality. As we can’t really judge aesthetic, we have to focus on quality. And as I said earlier, quality involves for me ecology. So quality materials and respect for the environment are key factors for good design.
What are you going to focus on next?
The most important thing for me today is to develop my company by finding new selling spot, inside or outside France.
Thank you so much for answering my questions. I love seeing natural materials transformed in such a humble, attentional and honest way. I’m looking forward seeing how you further will transform your creativity into beautiful objects