13 / 04 / 2016
Let's meet with Emilie Marc who collaborates with Sessùn for the Sessùn Oui collection 2016.
Hi Emilie! Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself !
My name is Emilie Marc. I’m an artist and a craftswoman. I am 32 years old. I was born in Montpellier and I currently live in the 9th district in Paris.
What is your professional background?
I studied in Montpellier, where I did a degree in Fine Art. Then I went on to the National School of Fine Arts at the Villa Arson in Nice. There I studied painting, photography, sculpture and performance art.
While I was a student, I also took singing lessons in opera.
During my fourth year at art school, I was lucky enough to be part of an Erasmus exchange program and study in Vienna, Austria at the Academy of Fine Arts and at the Vienna Music School. It was an amazing experience.
At the end of my fourth year I returned to Nice to graduate.
After I graduated, I moved to Paris, where my working life began to change and evolve. I moved away from performance art and set design, which had been at the centre of my student work, towards the applied arts and workshop-based design.
I wanted to paint and create decorative objects made out of wood. So I came up with the idea of making boxes inspired by melancholic portraits and landscapes. I also started making bracelets out of different types of wood, focusing on minimal shapes and graphic, painted designs.
I also made decorative clutch bags known as minaudieres, which are greatly inspired by my painted boxes. I liked the idea that they’re like little paintings that you can carry around with you and brighten up any outfit.
What is your relationship with Sessùn?
I first came across Sessun at the shop People’s Rag in Montpellier when I was a teenager and Emma was selling wool sweaters from Chile! I was already wearing Sessun back then!
I have always felt a close affiliation with Sessun on aesthetic grounds, but also because many people I know and like have links to Sessun.
I was lucky enough to work on a collaboration with Emma and Amelie from Sessùn for the Marine Girls exhibition in November 2016 in Paris. For this exhibition, I made a special collection of bracelets and minaudieres. I loved the thought of designing objects and jewellery that could complement the Sessun collection.
Then I worked on a second collaboration for the “Sessun Oui” collection, which I enjoyed just us much. I had great fun coming up with luxurious designs that included working with gold and a soft colour palette for this special wedding range.
Basically, working with Sessùn is really inspiring and always challenging!
How would you describe your work and your creative universe?
I would say that my work sits somewhere between the decorative and fine arts.
I work very meticulously like a craftsman, using a range of different skills to achieve what I want. Each piece I make is unique. I always include an artistic element in my creations, whether design, painting or motifs.
How do you go about it? Where do you get your ideas from? Where do you find inspiration?
The objects I create are made by craftsmen (toymakers, woodturners, etc.) based in the Jura region. They are then assembled and painted in my studio in Paris and then varnished by a lacquerer in her studio which is also in the 9th district, which is really handy!
Recently, I learned how to gild wood, which has enabled me to explore new ways to decorate objects. It has been really inspirational and makes me want to create new pieces!
My work takes a lot of its ideas from nature as well as classical and contemporary painting. I love melancholic landscapes such as dark skies or a figure standing in a forest, shrouded in mist.
I love painting on wood, and I like it when the grain of the wood shows through. I’m fascinated by all types of wood and the different colours. I like bringing together minimal shapes and creating a pictorial image.
I feel a strong connection to both Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics.
What is your favourite medium among all those you practice and why?
Basically, I just love painting! But I enjoy the whole creative process from coming up with the initial concept right through to the finished result.
There’s one stage that I particularly like, which is the moment I first see an object that I have designed and made, when it has been varnished. The layers of varnish create a lacquered finish, which give depth to the painting and embellishes it.
I love taking these raw materials and turning them into something precious.
What is your typical day like?
I am lucky as I have a workshop in my apartment. I sit at my desk to paint, draw, prepare colours, tape, sand, bind, glue, gild, engrave and varnish.
What did you want to be when you were little?
When I was little I loved painting and making all sorts of objects with my big sister. She was a great inspiration to me and I always copied her! I dreamed of being an artist!
What projects do you have in store?
I’m constantly thinking about new objects to design, and I have lots of projects in mind. For example I’d love to paint murals and design decorative furniture.
Some of my work will soon be available in Tokyo, and I hope to do more collaborative pieces.
Thank You Emilie!
Photo © Sessùn