Revelations, Fine craft and creativity at Grand Palais

Véronique de Soultrait in front of her creations in rope

What pleased me at first was to hear Italian, Chinese, Italian, English and Spanish being spoken in the alleys. This new edition of “Revelations“, the fourth arts and craft biennale, is definitely International and artists, craftsmen, industrials mix happily under the beautiful decor of the Grand Palais. Here are the discoveries I made among ceramists, leather and rope weavers, wood carvers and glass sculptors. In the age of Internet, the hand is still our most precious tool.

Julie Gonce, “Closer to Lichen”, flameworked glass and wood

Julie Gonce, Closer to Lichen, detail

The South African stand was designed by the Craft and Design Institute and it showed products from the Bayakha collection, with a Zulu savoir faire. Wool, palm and cotton are the traditional mediums used for a way to design modern tables, benches and vases. The clay “baby ceramic” by Louise Gelderblom is particularly successful. But I fell for the glass beads used by Michael Chandler X George Magaso for their multicolor vases. Standing in the center alley of the fair along a large straw sofa, these creations proudly represent their country.

Michael Chandler X George Magaso from the Ubuntu Tribe in South Africa, Woven Glass beads

The Iranian stand was very elegant with a tall metallic statue by Hirbod Hemmatazad, and of course many glass artists were represented. Matei Negreanu, one of my favorite glass artist, was present with “Suspended gardens”, a green sculpture in molten glass and engraved metal lent by Galerie Clara Scremini. Antoine Pierini showed his spectacular  “Vestige contemporain”,  from Biot. An extraordinary sculptor from the East of France, Julie Gonce, mixes glass and wood “because my father was a wood carver and I like glass”… She creates a poetic world, with “Memory fish of the Vasgove seas” in blown glass, and lichen from under the sea.

“Bubbles” by Oblique in Berlin cabinet making, make wonderful modulable shelves

I also liked a few ceramic makers, like Loupmana by Muriel Lovo who mixes porcelain and threads to remind us of our roots or Juliane Herden from Berlin, who designs beautiful layered vases. The leather workshop was well represented with all kinds of eccentric shoes and bags. The clever shelves by atelier Oblique in Berlin enchanted me and Pascal Oudet’s turned wood objects spotted two years ago, were again wonderful.

I met by chance charming Véronique de Soultrait who used to paint decors and now creates them with threaded ropes of all sizes which she dyes and she can make any type of “wall jewelry” as she calls it. Very efficient.

Matei Negreanu, Suspeded gardens, 2018, Galerie Clara Scremini

Thailand, Romania, India, Spain, Chile are also represented along Cameroun and Canada in the central “banquet” area. The fair is fun and very relaxed and the mixture of artists and manufacturers is interesting.

You can find them all on their website after “Revelations” is over…(23-26 May)

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