Cream of French craft on show


With major tourist destinations like La Rochelle, Cognac, the Swamps of Poitou, the Futuroscope and the Atlantic coastal resorts, the Poitou-Charentes Region has a wealthy historical heritage. It hosts craftsmen who are well versed in age-old arts and crafts techniques.Photo – Supplied photo

Muscat: A French delegation from the Poitou-Charentes Region assisted by the Arts & Crafts Trades Regional Chapter is participating at the International Festival for Arts, Heritage and Creativity pavilion at the Muscat Festival venue in Al Amerat Park.
The five professionals are present to demonstrate their outstanding know-how.

Located in the West-Central part of France, the Poitou-Charentes Region cultivates its secrets and discrete charm. Together with major tourist destinations like La Rochelle, Cognac, the Swamps of Poitou, the Futuroscope and the Atlantic coastal resorts, the Poitou-Charentes Region is intent on sharing its wealthy historical heritage. It hosts many a craftsmen who are well versed in age-old arts and crafts techniques. In answer to the festival organisers' invitation, the region has selected five among them on account of the mastery and specific nature of their art.

Jerome Clochard taught himself antique and contemporary mosaics under the guidance of great Italian masters. Thanks to a technique which he has enriched through additional learning in drawing, colour and painting, he has successfully restored numerous historical monuments and decorated Parisian hotels, as well as producing an Art Nouveau décor for the prestigious Le Printemps department store in Paris.

A graduate of the Poitiers School of Applied Arts, Martine Forget Morin worked for 30 years for three leading Parisian workshops specialised in gold-leaf decoration. She has taken part in the restoration of prestigious sites like the Elysee Presidential Palace, the Dome of the Invalides, The French Senate and the Château de Versailles, prior to going on to open her own workshop.

A pupil of painter and ceramicist Jean Hury, Valérie Lainé Lambert went on to work with great names in French ceramics for whom she designed tiling collections for interior design projects, as well as with famous designers like Hilton Mc Connico, Eric Raffy and Andrée Putman. She has completed numerous prestigious projects for illustrious venues as well as a host of special commissions.

Philippe Riffaud was awarded the distinction of 'Meilleur Ouvrier de France' (Best Artisan in France) in 2011 — the most prestigious title in the field of craftsmanship know-how.

After studying antique restoration techniques for 13th- and 16th-century stained glass windows, he went to Switzerland to work with renowned painters. He then opened his own workshop with his wife, also a stained glass artist. They now work with Chief Historical Monuments Architects on a number of castles and churches, some of which are listed with the Unesco World Heritage.

After studying drawing on silk in Lyon, Luc Rockenbauer turned to advertising and publishing illustration with prestigious agencies like Publicis. Then, intent on expressing himself through longer-lasting commissions, he went on to produce decors for architects and private customers.

He has completed a great many decors for hotels and restaurants. His love of landscapes and nature can be seen in his plant compositions brimming with softness and poetry.

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