Monday, February 1, 2016
Last Thursday Mrs B and myself took the Eurostar to visit our daughter Amber in Paris, where she is studying traditional French marquetry at École Boulle and more recently at Lycée Jacques Brel. First we went to the outer suburbs to visit Jacques Brel and meeting Amber’s tutor Bruno Rovro, who is a highly talented ‘ébéniste’ and tutor of the marquetry and restoration course. Neither Amber nor Bruno have much of each of others languages, so making signs at each other, using Google Translator and laughing a lot, get them through the average day! It seems to be working as Bruno rates her learnt skills highly.
Boulle were having their half-term Open Day so we could see the vast range of arts and crafts skills such as sculpture, chair making and furniture design being practised, it also included some very modern examples of marquetry done to a very high standard. We got to meet her tutor Monsieur Beyssac and also Bruno’s daughter Elodie who is studying alongside Amber in the marquetry group.
Then there was Paris, of course, the Eiffel Tower at night and checking out the shops including the restoration and conservation supplies shops in Faubourg St. Antoine where Amber sometimes visits. We got to meet Elisabeth and Nicholas, her landlords, whose own offspring are working, one in Whitstable and the other in the City of London! It’s a small world. Thanks to everyone who made us welcome in Paris, it was a very interesting and informative visit.
Until next time.
Photographs top to bottom:
1: Tutor Bruno and Amber next to his magnificent ‘work-in-progress’ a reproduction Louis XV Bureau du Roi
2: Bruno’s ‘sand shading’ skills shown off here to great effect, a complex piece of marquetry
3: Part of the marquetry workshop, there is also a finishing shop , machine shop and veneer presses
4: Massive three-phase Italian scrollsaws lined up in the École Boulle marquetry workshop
5: Amber’s ‘reverse image’ pair of Boulle drawer fronts in student Open Day show – made in horn and brass
6: Amber demonstrating using a chevalet, much preferred by traditionalists to a scrollsaw – many have carved faces on the front this one is called Alphonso
7: I had to put this one in - the Eiffel Tower is definitely a wow factor at night!
(PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANTHONY BAILEY)