He creates and builds „simple, authentic objects adapted to their use“
The webpage of French cabinet maker and designer Simon Chéreau is very poetic: „In my atelier I shape and think of the raw material: it talks to me and I listen. I work and it takes shape. Slowly.“ As for his design concept, he describes it as: „simple, authentic objects adapted to their use.“
Wood stands at the center of his work, but he enjoys complementing it with natural stone. „Wood and stone go well together because both come from nature,“ he answers in a mail.
But they are also very different in many ways: plants vs. minerals, warm and welcoming vs. cool and reserved.
He also admires stone for its singularity. Integrating stone makes each piece unique.
For both materials he has a small variety of types to choose from.
Chéreau apprenticed as a carpenter and acquired his skills as a designer by self-learning, from colleagues or at trade fares. His role models are the US-American George Nakashima and Charlotte Perriand of France.
He acquired his affinity to stone from Brice Camerman, who worked for Portugal’s Stone Performance Company. Stone Performance specialized in working for artists. One of them was Mathieu Lehanneur, subject of various reports in our magazine. Stone Performance works for him now as well.
Chéreau always uses cm-thin slabs of stone mounted on a honeycomb carrier for reasons of weight. To hide the honeycomb carrier, he integrates the stone into wood, like intarsia.
He lived in Sydney for some time where he worked for a renown Australian furniture manufacturer. He caught our eye at Milan’s Salone del Mobile, where he exhibited his pieces in the Salone Satellite reserved for the up and coming young designers.
But despite being distinctly cosmopolitan he emphasizes that he remains first and foremost a craftsman. He states this when it comes to marketing. „My problem is that marketing is not my strength!“ he admits. This is typical for enterprises that earn their money through craftsmanship.
Self-recognition is the first step toward correction. „This is why I am currently looking for a partner, to help me develop my QDA brand,“ he writes. The company name means Queue D’aronde, Eglish: dove tail, an antique and hand made assembly system in cabinet making.
Photos: Simon Chéreau
(18.10.2019, USA: 10.18.2019)