When you walk into Valérie Maltaverne’s showroom in the Batignolles area, you immediately know that you are entering a special world. That of perfect materials and craft. When she founded her company Ymer&Malta, she knew she wanted to create products with industrial designers and artisans. Nine years later, she partners with Tapisseries d’Aubusson on a few contemporary tapestries used with furniture. And she has achieved amazing wood marquetry tables. Her lamps are the object of an exhibition “Akari unfolded”at the Noguchi Museum in New York.
Ymer&Malta’s peculiarity is that it only uses perfect leathers, marble, precious wood or glass. Valérie’s role in the production process is to always push the designers as far as they can and think out the perfect relationship between craftman and artist. The birth of a new collection takes two years, one year for drawing and one year for manufacturing.
While having coffee at the studio, I could admire from close up a long low table in blackened pear tree with a white ebony snake incrusted in it. The softness of the wood made me believe that it was stainless steel. It is a perfect object that you want to caress endlessly. Valérie’s clients are often architects or decorators who are looking for a unique piece. The conception of every object is done accordingly.
While watching a bench in lace tucked by the wall under a beautiful ink by Sylvain Rieu-Piquet, I realized that the lace was actually leather. In the entrance, by the front door, there are three mirrors partly covered with misty landscapes: they were designed by Benjamin Graindorge, one of the most prolific designers of the company, who is also the author of a leather couch made of dozens of little cushions, the sofaScape.
Ymer&Malta work a lot on commission. They create book shelves that look more like a sculpture than a practical piece of furniture. Valérie and her husband used to work in the movie world and were accustomed to very precise creations. While most designs are only made in a an edition of 12 or less, they intend to develop their lights after the show at the Noguchi museum and make them available to more art lovers.
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