Talents Rares – Nicolas Righetti ©Lundi 13

Annie MacDonald, Thibault Vallontton, Bastien Chevallier, Isabelle Villa, Eric Charles-Donatien, Richard Maier – Nicolas Righetti ©Lundi 13

Expositions – Talents Rares – Nicolas Righetti©Lundi 13

Talents Rares – Nicolas Righetti ©Lundi 13

Talents Rares – Nicolas Righetti ©Lundi 13

Talents Rares – Nicolas Righetti ©Lundi 13

Singular Talents

EXCEPTIONAL OBJECTS BY EXCEPTIONAL ARTISANS

30 January – 25 march 2020

Exhibition curated by

Arcades des Arts presents an intimate portrait of fifteen European artisans; an opportunity to discover this new space, a showcase for the expertise of watchmaking and the métiers d’art.

For this first exhibition, the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship and the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie have trained the spotlight on fifteen outstanding artisans. Together, they present a gallery of emotionally-charged portraits commissioned from Swiss filmmaker, Thibault Vallotton. Singular Talents offers a perspective on the work of these fifteen artisans.

Each excels in his or her chosen field, such as engraving, mosaic, marquetry, leather, plumasserie or enamel, whose possibilities they explore as though to remind us that a passion can become a profession. These men and women may not be the only ones working in their field, they are nonetheless unique… perhaps because their skills or the materials they use are inherently associated with a particular territory, or because they are the last guardians of traditional know-how that was once widespread in their region, or because they are young talent breathing new life into a profession that was previously that of an older generation.

Rarity is increasingly… rare. As technology progresses it seems there is nothing that cannot be reproduced or copied, from precious stones to human bodies, in virtually unlimited numbers.

“Creating is not enough; there must be continuity.”

Claudie Gallay (Love is an island)

Artisans

Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
©Kasia Bobula

Peter Bellerby

Bellerby & Co, globemaker, United Kingdom

From his North London studio Peter Bellerby and his team of trained globe-makers and cartographers create handmade globes combining traditional and modern techniques. Everything from the wooden and metal bases, the artwork, the painting and map-making, the weighting and goring (applying the map to the sphere) are handmade and perfected in-house.

Singular talent

The base spherical form of the globe is made in a mould. Positioning lines are then drawn and paper is applied to the moulded sphere. Paint and varnish are then applied to the surface of the paper. From start to finish, a small globe takes around a month to complete, the larger ones can take six to eight months to produce. A woodworking team make and finish all the bases for the globes, and a cartographer customises all the maps.

Contact

Bellerby & Co globemakers

7 Bouverie Mews N16 0AE London
+44 208 800 7235
sales@bellerbyandco.com
bellerbyandco.com

Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Peter Bellerby
Eric Charles Donatien
Eric Charles-Donatien
©Josef Rufnak

Eric Charles-Donatien

Plumassier, France

From his Paris workshop, Eric Charles-Donatien makes fashion accessories such as headwear, shoes, bags and jewellery displaying detailed feather work. Under his management, his studio also creates contemporary decorative art, combining feathers with metal, leather and a whole range of other materials. Eric is keen on preserving this rare craft and through his training of young apprentices, he works to preserve and promote it for the future.

Singular talent

Eric brings his knowledge of feather craft and traditional tailoring together, while also modernising certain techniques. He likes to mix materials – metals, fabrics, leather, wood – and constantly seeks to expand the use of feathers: in fashion, decoration, contemporary art, jewellery, leather goods and scenography.

Contact

Eric Charles-Donatien

18 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011 Paris
+33 (0)142609788
contact@ericcharlesdonatien.com
www.ericcharlesdonatien.com

Eric Charles Donatien
Eric Charles Donatien
Eric Charles Donatien
Eric Charles Donatien
Bastien Chevalier
Bastien Chevalier
©Michelangelo Foundation

Bastien Chevalier

cabinetmaker, Switzerland

Bastien Chevalier studied cabinetry for four years. Looking for a job, he knocked at the door of a cabinetry workshop in Sainte-Croix, where he found Jérome Boutteçon, Meilleur Ouvrier de France in wood marquetry. Although he had never had an apprentice, Jerôme Boutteçon took Bastien Chevalier under his wing and for five years taught him everything about the fine craft of marquetry. The latter trained Bastien in marquetry for close to six years in the cabinetmaking workshop Philippe Monti in St. Croix, Switzerland. Bastien was born in the era of graffiti, a world that deeply inspires him. The recognition of his work through international awards and exhibitions in salons and art galleries is growing day by day.

Singular talent

In 2003, Bastien founded his own marquetry studio producing work for clients such as François Junod (manufacturer of automata), Vianney Halter (watchmaker) and Reuge SA (music box maker). Graffiti art has had a strong influence on Bastien’s work and designs. His contemporary style of work, which evokes the style of graffiti art, distances itself from the more traditional notions of marquetry characterised by images of the belle époque.

Bastien Chevalier
Bastien Chevalier
Bastien Chevalier
Bastien Chevalier
Bastien Chevalier
Bastien Chevalier
Philippe Dufour
Philippe Dufour
©Courtesy of Philippe Dufour

Philippe Dufour

Master watchmaker, Switzerland

Philippe Dufour is the archetype of the watchmaker who designs and builds his timepieces the traditional way. His knowledge and skill, his extraordinary meticulosity, have made him a role model for others and even earned him celebrity status. After starting out in after-sales for Jaeger-LeCoultre in Germany then England, followed by two years in the Caribbean for General Watch Company, Philippe Dufour returned to Vallée de Joux where he has worked as an independent watchmaker since 1978. His first movement was a Grande Sonnerie wristwatch, an unprecedented prowess that immediately established him as one of the great masters. After this came the Duality then the Simplicity, already collector’s items.

Singular talent

There is a simple reason why Philippe Dufour was a mentor for the “Naissance d’une montre” project to create a timepiece without recourse to modern technology: he is one of the few watchmakers who still masters all the traditional techniques. And brilliantly so: his watches are held up as masterpieces of Haute Horlogerie, not only for their ingenious construction but also for a level of finishing that is rarely achieved. His reputation is such that he was hired by the Tokyo Watchmaking School to teach the hand finishes, such as bevelling and counter-sinking, that breathe soul into a watch. Had Philippe Dufour been Japanese, he would certainly have earned the title of “national living treasure”, the distinction the country gives its finest artisans. As it is, for Japanese watch collectors he is a superstar.

Philippe Dufour
Philippe Dufour
François Junod
François Junod
©Michelangelo Foundation

François Junod

Automaton-maker, Switzerland

François Junod is a master automaton builder. He works on automata and trains the next generation of apprentices from his workshop in Sainte-Croix, in the Jura canton of Switzerland, long distinguished for its rich tradition of watchmaking and precision mechanical engineering. Using traditional techniques, François creates and restores automata. He wishes to bring out the beauty of mechanics by highlighting cogs, wheels, springs and gears and not hiding them behind a frame.

Singular Talent

Automata are self-operated machines designed to follow a predetermined sequence of operations. The word automaton comes from the Greek αὐτόματον, meaning, “acting of one’s own will”. Automaton building is a millennia old craft, with references to automata found in Greek mythology.

François Junod
François Junod
François Junod
François Junod
François Junod
Izabela Carlucci
Izabela Kovalevskaja
©Raimundas Adzgauskas

Izabela Kovalevskaja

 Stained glass artist, Lithuania

Izabela Kovalevskaja is one of four students on the stained glass course at Vilnius Academy of Arts. She wishes to revive interest in this craft, which had a rich history in Lithuania but due to lack of new talent is slowly dying out. Her subjects are classical but her style is heavily influenced by her previous training as a tattoo artist.

Singular talent

Different media are used and combined to create enamel powders. The painted glass is fired at different temperatures depending on the enamel used. The stained-glass artisan works in layers, scratching away different layers of enamel to let light in.

Contact

Izabela Kovalevskaja

+37 62282693
izastainedglass@yahoo.com

Izabela Carlucci
Izabela Carlucci
Izabela Carlucci
Izabela Carlucci
Izabela Carlucci
Izabela Carlucci
Daniel Lòpez-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
©Meryan

Daniel López-Obrero

Leather engraver, Spain

Daniel Lopez Obrero is the third generation of his family to perfect the art of engraving and embossing leather, native to the Cordoban region of Spain. Daniel and his brother Carlos continue to perpetuate and develop the traditional skills of the workshop first set up by his grandparents in 1951 under the leathercraft brand Meryan. The workshop’s team is passionate about shedding light on their techniques and giving them the status they deserve.

Singular talent

Apart from a few modern innovations, the techniques used to create the leatherwork are essentially the same as those used in the past. Embossing and engraving pictures remain the most complicated processes. A design, previously transferred onto tracing paper, is transposed onto moist leather. Moist leather is easier to work on as the leather better retains the embossed or engraved shapes. To emboss the leather, a branding iron with small geometric shapes in relief or in a hollow is used. These are hammered into the opposite side of the leather and leave an embossed mark.

Contact

Meryancor

Calleja de las Flores, 2 14003 Córdoba
+34 957475902
info@meryancor.com
www.meryancor.com

Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Daniel López-Obrero
Annie MacDonald
Annie MacDonald
©Michelangelo Foundation

Annie MacDonald

Weaver, Scotland

On the Scottish Isle of Lewis, weaving is not so much a job, but more a way of life that tends to be handed down from generation to generation. Carloway Mill is one of only three mills in the world making Harris Tweed. The mill was on the verge of closing when Annie MacDonald and a business partner bought and modernised the mill. Using traditional techniques, they started to produce fabrics more adapted to contemporary demand, such as a lighter fabric used in women’s wear.

Singular talent

Yarn used to manufacture Harris Tweed must be 100% virgin wool. Depth of tone is achieved by mixing two to eight individual colours. The mix is then carded and spun. Following a pattern, the yarn is warped onto a beam for the double width Griffiths loom, and hand warped for the single width traditional Hattersley (McArt) loom.

Contact

Carloway Mill

Isle of Lewis
Outer Hebrides
Isle of Lewis HS2 9AG, Royaume-Uni
+44 1851 643 300
www.thecarlowaymill.com

Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Annie MacDonald - Carloway-Mill
Donald Macliver
Richard Maier
Richard Maier
©Trompeter & Ritchi

Richard Maier

 Art engraver, Germany

Despite being told by his teachers that he did not have the necessary talent to continue his studies in engraving, Richard Maier carried on down this path with thorough determination and passion. Working from his studio in Stuttgart, Germany, he is now considered a pioneer in art engraving.

Talents rares

He uses traditional tools such as hammer and chisel to create beautiful engravings on luxury items such as hunting guns and knives, working entirely by hand, under a microscope.

Contact

Richard Maier

+49 074579486266
rm@trompeter-ritchi.de
www.trompeter-ritchi.de

The Cheetah Knife - Trompeter & Ritchi
Richard Maier
Trompeter & Ritchi
Johanna Nestor
Johanna Nestor
©Landström Media – Alexander Landström

Johanna Nestor

Ceramic stove-maker, Sweden

From her studio in Åre, Sweden, Johanna Nestor perpetuates the age-old tradition of handmaking stoves. Her stoves embrace contemporary designs and evoke themes of nature, while seeking to preserve traditional techniques. Designed to take on a tree like appearance, her stoves are made from handmade ceramic tiles, which are then assembled one by one into a centrepiece stove.

Singular talent

The stoves start with a sketch, followed by the meticulous measurements of the stove to be made. Clay prototypes are created. Johanna then starts to make tiles that she forms in plaster moulds to save time. When the tiles are ready, she starts to model the frame on the backside of the tile that will stabilise the structure. The tiles are left to dry, a process that can take up to two weeks, then fired. After the first firing at 950°C, they are decorated with ceramic glaze then fired between 1162-1240°. The finished tiles are ready to be installed. Joanna uses a mixture of sand and clay to attach the tiles to one another. The inside of the stove is fitted with a smoke tube to guide the smoke out.

Contact

Johanna Nestor

Åre 83751 Jämtland
+46 737283841
tiledstoves@gmail.com
www.tiledstoves.com

Johanna Nestor
Johanna Nestor
Johanna Nestor
Johanna Nestor
Johanna Nestor
Johanna Nestor
Johanna Nestor
Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet
©Anita Porchet

Anita Porchet

Watch dial enameller, Switzerland

Anita Porchet is one of the world’s most distinguished enamel artists. From her enamel workshop close to Lausanne, Switzerland, she creates minute and detailed enamel masterpieces on watch dials. She works with some of the biggest names in the watch industry such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget. Anita is known for her mastery of the champlevé technique, where an engraving is filled with enamel before being fired and polished.

Singular talent

Intricately detailed watch dial enamelled masterpieces are worked on with the help of a microscope. This is an exercise in rigour and patience. The enamelling process starts with transparent crystal, which when mixed with metal oxides produces an infinite range of colours. Water is added to the crystals and ground up into powder with a pestle and mortar. This is the enamel. The powder is mixed with oils to facilitate its application when painted with a brush. Several layers of paint are applied to the dial until the artisan obtains the exact image that she wants. While the piece is being painted, it passes through a kiln heated at 800 degrees more than 20 times. A dial can take anywhere between a week to several months to make.

Contact

Anita Porchet

+41 793705546
anita.porchet@bluewin.ch

Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet
Leonardo Scarpelli
Leonardo Scarpelli
©Leonardo Scarpelli

Leonardo Scarpelli

Hard-stone mosaic artist, Italy

From his workshop in the heart of Florence, Leonardo Scarpelli and his team of expert artisans work an ancient craft of mosaic making from stones, passed down from masters of the Renaissance. The stones for the mosaics are collected by Renzo and his team from the Florence area. These are then worked on and sorted before being expertly and minutely created into mosaics with a painterly quality.

Singular talent

During the Italian Renaissance, the mosaic Commesso Fiorentino technique would involve a painter, a stone finder, the artisan who would choose the colours and the expert in charge of manually setting the stone. Nowadays one artisan carries out all of these steps, manually cutting blocks of rough stone into 3mm thick shapes using centuries-old techniques. The artisan creates the subject by drawing inspiration from many areas such as landscapes, portraits and still lifes. The master then chooses and sets stones that best match the tones needed to create a “stone painting”.

Contact

Scarpelli Mosaici

Via Ricasoli 59/r 50122 Florence
+39 055 212587
info@scarpellimosaici.it
www.scarpellimosaici.it

Scarpelli
Scarpelli
Scarpelli
Scarpelli
Scarpelli
Scarpelli
Scarpelli
Scarpelli
Scarpelli
Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgreen
Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgren
©Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter

Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgren

Ropemakers, Norway

Ingunn Undrum and Sarah Sjøgren make rope by hand in a workshop attached to the Hardanger og Voss (Hardanger Maritime Museum), the only place in Norway where this traditional trade is kept alive. The ropes are made from natural fibres including hemp, manila, linden and horse hair using techniques that date back to the Middle Ages. The pair mainly make rope for rigging on traditional boats, but also for railings, lassos and decoration.

Singular talent

Fibres are first gathered and spun into yarn. This yarn is then twisted together to form strands. Finally, these strands are twisted together to lay the rope. There are different techniques to do this. The yarn is twisted in an opposite direction to that of the strands which in turn are twisted in the opposite direction to the rope. This operation of twisting the fibres in a different direction is what holds the rope together. This process requires the rope to be twisted along the length of a workshop longer than 100 metres in length. Some historic rope building sites were more than a kilometre long.

Contact

Ingunn Undrum c/o Hardanger Maritime Museum

Sandvenvegen 50 5600 Norheimsund
+47 47479839
ingunn.undrum@hvm.museum.no
www.fartoyvern.no

Sarah Sjøgren c/o Hardanger and Voss Museum

Sandvenvegen 50 5600 Norheimsund
+47 468 45 695
Sarah.sjogren@hvm.museum.no
www.fartoyvern.no

Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgren
Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgren
Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgren
Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgreen
Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgreen
Isabelle Villa
Nicolas Righetti©Lundi 13

Isabelle Villa

Miniature painter, Switzerland

Isabelle Villa is a miniaturist who has worked freelance since 2007. Over the years, this immensely talented artist has forged lasting relations with the leading names in watchmaking as a creator of extraordinary dials. They include Bovet, which commissioned Isabelle to paint stunningly lifelike portraits of animals, Hermès for reproductions of patterns from silk scarves, as well as Cartier, Girard-Perregaux, Jacob & Co, MB&F, Montblanc, Van Cleef & Arpels and others. Isabelle can turn her hand to any subject on surfaces as diverse as stone, mother-of-pearl and sapphire. From a palette of primary colours, she produces multiple nuances to craft miniatures that are rich in tonalities.

Talent rare

For centuries, Geneva took part of its renown from the splendid enamel miniatures that adorned the dials of its watches. These techniques allow for a palette of colours and a sharpness of detail that not even modern printing techniques can achieve. Producing these tiny works of art demands extraordinary precision and an experienced hand: depending on the complexity of the design, a single dial takes between one and three weeks to complete, and must be worked under a magnifier. Each stage requires infinite care and concentration, from reproducing the subject on the dial to applying the successive layers of colour with a fine brush. Each layer is fired in the kiln at 800°C in order to vitrify the enamel. This produces the richness and depth of these wonderful miniature masterpieces.

Konstantinos Vogiatzkis
Konstantinos Vogiatzakis
©Melpo Zapanti

Konstantinos Vogiatzakis

Saddlemaker, Greece

Konstantinos Vogiatzakis perpetuates the ancient trade of saddle making for mules and donkeys from his workshop in the Magnesia region of Greece. He is the last remaining artisan to practice this trade in the region. In order to create the saddle perfectly he takes the measurements directly from the animal. He only works during daylight hours since his workshop has no electricity.

Singular Talent

In contrast to horse saddles, traditionally made and finished with leather, donkey saddles principally make use of straw and fabric. Konstantinos starts by padding a felt pillow with a tightly bundled straw then covers the pillow with leather. Finally, this is placed into a handmade wooden frame adjusted to the donkey or mule it is made for.

Konstantinos Vogiatzkis
Konstantinos Vogiatzkis
Konstantinos Vogiatzkis

Exceptional objects

François Junod – Automaton building

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – 2007 Steel, aluminium, polyester, glass, hemp fabric, lambskin, oil paint, electric motor

Eric Charles-Donatien – Featherwork

Samourai Pheasant feathers, leather, metal

Leonardo Scarpelli – Mosaic, Commesso fiorentino

Designer Pierre Marie. Nascita di Una Stella (Birth Of A Star) – 2017. Semi-precious stones

François Junod – Automaton building
François Junod, Nicolas Righetti©Lundi13

François Junod – Automaton building


This automaton of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) was created using the same dimensions as a human head. The wig parts to reveal a pair of small, chirping birds. François Junod wishes to bring out the beauty of mechanics by highlighting cogs, wheels, springs and gears, rather than hiding them behind a frame.


Eric Charles-Donatien – Featherwork
Eric Charles-Donatien. Plumasserie Samouraï – Nicolas

Eric Charles-Donatien – Featherwork


Centerpiece in burnished metal scales, pheasant feathers and crocodile print leather. A protective shell is placed between the ark and the armour, where the feathers symbolise the animal kingdom in an ornamental role.


Leonardo Scarpelli – Mosaic, Commesso fiorentino
Leonardo Scarpelli – Nicolas Righetti©Lundi 13

Leonardo Scarpelli – Mosaic, Commesso fiorentino


This elegant tray, created for the 2017 edition of Doppia Firma, was crafted with semi-precious stones using the time-honoured technique of commesso fiorentino, the Florentine art of stone marquetry. Leonardo Scarpelli integrates the natural patterns of the stones into an intricate design created by French designer Pierre Marie. A constellation of polished labradorite stands out in the centre of the tray, a display of iridescence, representing the birth of a new star.


Courtesy of: Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte


A word from the curators

When we set out to present the concept of rare crafts, after thinking about rarity itself and how it could be shown in a new light, we imagined a story that would convey, in a poetic form, these Singular Talents. We went in search of artisans who are committed to perfecting techniques; individuals who believe in the culture of beauty and excellence, and the importance of carrying them into the future. From the master craftsman to the neo-artisan, they devote themselves mind, body and soul to excellence, with sensitivity and skill.


These artisans have the power to surprise us and to give us hope with rare objects that speak to our hearts. They re-enchant our world. By recognising the rich heritage of every form of expertise, we perpetuate the talent and the beauty behind each gesture. We build a bridge between past and future. These singular talents have the power to surprise us and to give us hope.


Vidéos

Annie Macdonald

Konstantinos Vogiatzakis

Bastien Chevalier

Peter Bellerby

Philippe Dufour

Eric Charles-Donatien

François Junod

Izabela Kovalevskaja

Richard Maier

Johanna Nestor

Daniel López-Obrero

Anita Porchet

Leonardo Scarpelli

Ingunn Undrum

Isabelle Villa

acknowledgements

The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship and the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie extend their sincere thanks to all those who, in various capacities, contributed to Singular Talents, and in particular the fifteen craftsmen and women who opened the doors of their workshops across Europe.


Art has always inspired the creation of exceptional objects, beyond borders. It is the essence of Arcades des Arts to share its passion for creativity with as many people as possible.


The Singular Talents film series has been selected for the 12th International Film Festival for Fine Crafts (FIFMA) and will be screened as part of the 30 films in competition, 24-26 April, 2020, in Montreuil, France.


Crédits

Curators

Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship et Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie

Director

Thibault Vallotton

Vistual Reality

Emissive

Directors of Photography

Arthur Touchais, Gabriel Bonnefoy

Executive Producer

Andrea Tomasi

Singular Talents

Peter Bellerby, Bellerby & Co, globemaker, United Kingdom
Eric Charles-Donatien, plumassier, France
Bastien Chevalier, cabinetmaker, Switzerland
Philippe Dufour, master watchmaker, Switzerland
François Junod, automaton-maker, Switzerland
Izabela Kovalevskaja, stained glass artist, Lithuania
Daniel López-Obrero, leather engraver, Spain
Richard Maier, art engraver, Germany
Annie MacDonald, Carloway Mill, weaver, United Kingdom
Johanna Nestor, ceramic stove-maker, Sweden
Anita Porchet, watch dial enameller, Switzerland
Isabelle Villa, miniature painter, Switzerland
Leonardo Scarpelli, hard-stone mosaic artist, Italy
Ingunn Undrum & Sarah Sjøgreen, ropemakers, Norway
Konstantinos Vogiatzakis, saddlemaker, Greece

Special thanks

Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos / Ayuntamento de Córdoba
Centre des Monuments Nationaux, établissement gérant le Palais Royal de Paris
Le Château d’Hohenzollern
Hardanger Maritime Museum Norheimsund
Archidiocèse de la Curie de Vilnius