Interview with Lison de Caunes, the Master of art in straw marquetry
For Lison de Caunes, the straw marquetry is a childhood memory born in the workshop of his grandfather and master of Art Deco, decorator André Groult. She revolutionizes this technique by means of bookbinding tools such as this bone bender that never leaves it.
Signatures Singulières: What made you want to go into straw marquetry?
Lison de Caunes: straw marquetry has always been very present in my life thanks to my grandfather André Groult who introduced me to it. Indeed, I spent a lot of time in his studio. And then, I was surrounded by my parents objects and furniture in straw marquetry. When my grandfather died, I had the desire to restore his furniture. That's how I started straw marquetry.
Signatures Singulières: It is an art recognized in France. Is it the same abroad?
Lison de Caunes: it's a very French specialty since the 17th century. For a long time this art remained very confidential. But since about fifteen years and especially thanks to my work, the marquetry of straw has regained an interest with the public. It is now well known and fashionable in the United States, Russia and Europe.
Signatures Singulières: What kind of welcome did you receive in New York?
Lison de Caunes: I joined the American market thanks to Peter Marino. He was the first decorator to incorporate straw marquetry into his interiors. The revival for art deco also played a role in the enthusiasm found for this matter. And now for fifteen years many decorators have decided to work with my workshop and offer their customers straw marquetry.
Signatures Singulières: You have joined Par Excellence, which promotes French talents in New York. What do you expect? Do you already have benefits in this way?
Lison de Caunes: Despite the fact that we already have a lot of projects in the United States, it was important to have a place to be represented. It seemed all the more interesting because we are alongside talented artisans. They all contribute to show the excellence of French craftsmanship. We decided to embark on this adventure to expand our repertoire and meet new decorators. We have already had a big project with Drake / Anderson which is a direct result of our presence at the showroom Par Excellence.
Signatures Singulières: What challenge would you like to meet in 2019?
Lison de Caunes: my challenge for 2019 is to continue to innovate and modernize this material to show the infinite and unexpected possibilities of straw marquetry. We are currently working in association with other craftsmen to combine our know-how and to always present novelties.