Venetian torch by Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil
For 20 years, Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil has excelled in restoration, reproduction but also the creation of exceptional pieces of goldsmithing. At the head of the RICHARD Orfèvre workshop since 2012, this goldsmith enthusiast has kept his childish eyes in front of the light of a candle.
“ The atmosphere of a dinner lit exclusively by candlelight is incomparable and sublime for the guests ”
His love of Beauty is fulfilled when the Parisian artisan meets Venice. He quickly fell under the spell of these large Venetian glass chandeliers.
Faced with this new material, the Goldsmith nourishes his curiosity in different museums and readings. The revelation takes place in front of 18th century objects and torches in filigree glass. This is what leads Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil to declare his love for the City of Doges today.
For the occasion, he imagined a series of torches which combines his talents as a goldsmith with those of the master glassmakers of Murano and which will be presented in Venice.
“ Venice has always been a source of inspiration for me. I go there regularly to recharge my batteries and inspire myself. This is truly the soul of this project. »
The reward of patience
Although very opposite, silver and glass have one thing in common: fire. This precious fire which allows each material to be worked, stretched, formed, sublimated.
It took Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil four years to awaken an intrinsic need for creation in a trio of torches combining the fragility of glass with the robustness of silver.
Four years of research, drawings, models, sometimes doubts, but also meetings and discoveries which forever changed the goldsmith's outlook on his profession.
A work which was greatly facilitated by the various confinements granting Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil several weeks of precious time that the daily life of his job hardly offered him.
“ After 20 years in the workshop, I needed to challenge myself and face my own technical constraints. This project reconciled me with my profession by immersing myself in all the dimensions of that of a goldsmith, both technically and artistically. »
Reinterpreting the classics
Numerous trips to Murano were necessary in order to find the artisan glassmaker sharing the same requirements as Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil and capable of bringing to life his reinterpretation of the classic candlestick, evoking the cabinets of curiosities of the greatest palaces.
Despite the language barrier which could have blocked such a complex project, the two craftsmen were able to communicate thanks to the gesture of the hand. The one who designs the torch and the one who makes it.
160. This is the number of hours of work required for each pair of torches. After having drawn his ideal model by hand, Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil set about designing the 3 decors: Pyrite, Coral, Bouquet. A real technical challenge arose regarding the fixing systems which had to be effective and invisible. A challenge met thanks to the dexterity of Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil and the mastery of his profession.
Some decorations were modeled in wax then melted, others were directly shaped, chiseled, cut out of silver. Once these elements were manufactured, adjusted and polished, they were covered with gold so that the solid silver became Vermeil. To refine his work, the goldsmith, with his expert hands, burnished certain parts with agate to give them all their shine.
Assembled on their mouth-blown glass support, the decorations seem to launch in the same movement in search of their common element, the flame.
“ This part of the project was undoubtedly the most exciting because it plunged me back into a research and development phase. But also the most stressful since the association between the torch and the decor had to remain a mystery. »
Since 1910 and its creation, five generations of goldsmiths have forged the identity and reputation of RICHARD Goldsmith.
Today, Jean-Pierre Cottet-Dubreuil continues to bring to life the soul of the workshop nestled in a charming backyard in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris.
At the head of the workshop and its exceptional heritage since 2012, he puts all his passion and know-how at the service of creating classic and contemporary collections dedicated to individuals and professionals.