This ancient material that shaped industrial progress for millennia was the work of silversmiths, copper artisans, blacksmiths, cutlers, gunsmiths, farriers, tinsmiths, stove fitters and even those who fashioned foundry bells. Different types of metal regrouped with various alloy are used in this discipline, as are pure pieces of gold and silver in treasures, or in more functional works: leather, brass or pewter, for example.
All these artisans of steel and fire work with challenging, but malleable, materials in panel boards, thanks to cold design techniques—like narrowing, planning, spinning, stamping—or warm design techniques—like melting—to begin their creations. Time is their ally, and respecting it assures success.
Working as a blacksmith, like Pascal Renoux, entails pounding steel with a hammer for a long time, so that the iron anvil conjures a cloud of firey sparks.
Be it luxury cutlery or any other piece of copper, these creations require an exceptional finishing touch. And the design cannot be completed if all the steps are not followed with the artisan’s greatest care. The artist knows how to calibrate their work with design requirements that Wilfrid Jolly, as a Master of Art student, learned over several years.
In the workshop, the transmission of movements, the observation of the master or of the apprentice, the training, and the sharing of experience and patience, aligned with education, are guaranteed by an exceptional artisan—and enable atypical creations to come to life.