For the first time, Fondation Rémy Cointreau has organized Les Cafés Artisans. The aim of such a project is to highlight the craftsmen’s work through the Foundation’s laureates. The first edition took place on April 25, 2023, with Steven Leprizé! Caroline Martin-Rilhac, General Delegate of Fondation Rémy Cointreau, has hosted this rich and inspiring conference.
Steven Leprizé is a craftsman, fond of wood, design and research. He owes this passion to his family as the son of a farm machinery museum manager, the grandson of a carpenter and wheelwright, and the great-grandson of a carpenter and woodworker. The work of metal and wood is common in his environment. The transmission is there, wood inspires him, and he wishes to “use its movement”. Through this impulse, he has created ARCA Ebénisterie after his studies at Ecole Boulle (Paris). His passion has been growing day by day, and his pugnacity has been leading him to achieve excellence, with Mark Twain’s slogan, “They didn’t know it was impossible, so they did it”.
This workshop is an entrepreneurial adventure in which teamwork is a priority. The materials are carefully used, and R&D is at the heart of the business, giving the craftsmen an infinite field of possibilities. As a true scientist, Steven Leprizé has created Airwood, which gives wood elastic properties. This invention has been the beginning of the creation of Woowood, enabling furniture’s drawers to be replaced by pockets of flexible wood. Last but not least, Bois Larmé, a metal marquetry technique, is also one of his inventions! Suitable to any surface, it illustrates the innovative possibilities offered by such know-how.
Today, the studio has grown, and the company is independent. Steven Leprizé can now focus on new projects such as artistic and cultural residencies. Since his time at Villa Albertine, the studio has taken on a new international dimension, dedicating part of its activity to design with the creation of Studio Stl. Despite this evolution, our laureate is attached to the family values that ARCA embodies, and to the ambitious project it represents for the future of cabinetmaking. Far from being a company with a single face, the workshop is synonymous with teamwork, rigor, inventiveness, and pragmatism, making real the objects of the imagination.
Loyal to his personal convictions, Steven Leprizé defends the importance of apprenticeships in workshops, and supports his students in their training and the protection of fine crafts. For him, arts and crafts have their place in tomorrow’s society, and are growing with the development of digital technology.
This belief of combining the traditional with the contemporary allows him to see himself into the transmission of his know-how. Steven Leprizé is already thinking about the next generation because he is attached to the future of his craft and his workshop. “I tell myself that going slowly and catalysing all this heritage and this team is a way of establishing a long-term position”.
The fine crafts and the craftsmen are put in highlights in the French press this year, with a focus on handicrafts.
The Bureau du Design, de la Mode et des Métiers d’Art has awarded the laureats 2022 of the Prix Savoir-faire en transmission the 10th of March 2022. Fondation Rémy Cointreau has been supporting this prize for 4 years.