Jean-Luc Le Mounier, Console Blanc, FR, 2021
Created throughout 2020 and completed in 2021, Le Mounier’s Blanc Collection was an effort to counter the relative isolation of his studio throughout France’s lockdown. The airy, buoyant works channel an escapist vision of sandy beaches and blue skies. What will, no doubt, be remembered as a dark period in history provided a unique breakthrough for Le Mounier. Cased in a textural combination of quartz and mica, the subtle sparkle of his unique grainy surface material has a combed pattern that compliments the smooth satiny surface of the straw marquetry “fish scale” pattern.
The precise technique of straw marquetry, using flattened slivers of natural cured straw, became popular around the time of Louis XV and again during the 1930’s when art deco designers used straw to cover everything from decorative objects and furniture to walls, ceilings, and entire rooms.
While each piece in the Blanc collection is decidedly modern, the rounded legs and arms, stepped symmetrical composition, and the intricate marquetry give this fresh contemporary group a subtle nod to Art Deco design.
Le Mounier lives and works in Brittany (North-West of France). He spent much of his childhood in his grandfather’s carpentry workshop where he would craft tiny pieces of furniture with the tools and materials he could find there. Fascinated with wood, he started his training as a cabinetmaker in 1995. In 2003, Le Mounier opened his own workshop where he could express his passion and explore the many possibilities of crafting unique furniture design.
In his Dinard workshop, in the heart of his native Brittany, Le Mounier now conducts teams of master craftsmen to create elegant and graphic furniture deeply rooted in tradition with decidedly modern motifs. Together, they create singular pieces of precision design, harmoniously mixing rare woods with precious metals. The high level of attention to detail in both construction and design is a testimony to Le Mournier’s audacity and sensibility. Drawing inspiration from natural elements, art, fashion, and architecture the works mix strength of form with a lexicon of uncommon details and imagery that is both graphic and elegant. The broad range of woods and metals used, which can be as diverse as sycamore, ebony, bronze, steel, enamel, or sand, as well as the unpredictable way in which Le Mounier manipulates them, sets the artist apart.
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