Quand la paille devient lumière 

When straw becomes beam

Manon BOUVIER, straw-marquetry artist

manon bouvier

Trained at the Ecole Boulle in woodwork, Manon Bouvier discovered marquetry using straw in the workshop of a very special specialist having a unique savoir-faire! In 2016, she set off on her own and launched her workshop called Paelis in Lyon. She was awarded 'Meilleur Ouvrier de France' (MOF) in her discipline in May 2019.

After obtaining the CAP in cabinet-making in the Haute-Savoie region, Manon Bouvier, who was born in Annecy, joined for a four year session the Ecole Boulle in Paris to deepen her knowledge in woodwork and Design. She then entered the Atelier Maonia in Paris -represented by Marine Fouquet and Hervé Morin– which is a member of the 'Les Grands Ateliers de France' association. She there discovered straw marquetry. And it was a true revelation. «I don't know what attracted me at first, says Manon Bouvier. Probably the touch of it, which is soft and silky. It's like having little sun beams all over! The more I work on the motif, the more shape and light appear. It is really thanks to the hand's gestures and the eye that I create relief. And little by little, I see it expand and take its shape». Everything is important the outlining on paper, or directly onto the support, as well as the direction with which you place and glue the straw.

Creating her own technique

With practice and in accordance with her commissioned projects, Manon Bouvier has created her own techniques. She can thus achieve straw marquetry on wood, metal, plexiglass as well as on leather… Her work is destined to architects, interior designers and the many different segments of luxury brands. Cases, shop lay-outs, specific projects,... the possibilities are infinite. She thus collaborated with the designer Flavia de Laubadère for the making of a screen project using bamboo. The young 26 year-old woman successfully took up the challenge! «It was such an interesting and stimulating experience! She admits. Bamboo leaves are very dry, curved and brittle. I had to find the right technique, not only concerning cutting, glueing, and thickness but also for visual rendering. I had a go on many samples before finding efficient solutions. Obtaining such an unprecedented result is so exciting! In fact I am open to any kind of project. » Using metal ruling, a cutter and a bone folder, straw marquetry, which dates back to the 17th century, is turned into a contemporary arts craft. At its origins, it was achieved by marqueters, but also by clerics, sailors and convicts in France, Holland and Great Britain. It demands great meticulousness and commitment. Manon Bouvier possesses these qualities. Thanks to her MOF title, she has acquired self-confidence in her savoir-faire and she arouses interest within the professional sphere. After three years spent increasing the credibility of the workshop 'Paelis', (110 m² din the center of Lyon), she took a step forward at the end of 2009 by « creating a dreamlike job for a collaborator, she says. I was able to create a long-term post so as to hire a 'Compagnon du Tour de France' in woodwork. It is so important to exchange opinions. For me, it is more like a true partnership.» Manon Bouvier ended 2019 with a new award: she was one of the fifteen new laureates, among which five in the « Artisanat d’Art » category, and who thus joined the 'Fondation Banque Populaire'. This was a well-earned reward for her meticulousness and mastercraft, which allow her to contemplate a bright Future. She maps out 2020 with a good number of tantalizing projects, sometimes taking her to the other side of the Earth thanks to her portfolio of materials and achievements, as seen on Instagram.

Paravent Bambou

Isabel Soubelet, journaliste.

https://www.paelis.com http://www.grandsateliersdefrance.com/fr/a-propos-2.html

Crédit Photos : 
Florence Blanchard
Cyrille Robin : Paravent Marqueterie de feuilles de bambou et de paille. Collaboration avec la designer Flavia De Laubadère
Table présentée ci-dessous : Table Unio

Table basse Unio