My work is rather uncommon for Baccarat, because I rarely touch crystal: I rather handle clay, plaster, wax, elastomers, and resins! In my workshop, which I wanted to be a bit like me – a real haven of peace –, my role as a prototyping modeler consists of imagining and designing a whole range of molds where the molten crystal will take shape. I adapt them, find tricks so that an element remains united while preserving the aesthetic and transparency. These are very complex molds that can only be made by hand: one of my main challenges is to think about joint plans so as to demold pieces without breakage or snags. Starting from a model, which can be in modeling clay, plaster or digital, with the help of rasps, rifflers, round-tipped spatulas, I reconcile the artists’ original inspiration with physical constraints. Once the prototype is presented to marketing, with my colleagues in the workshop, we make a wax proof with which we will imprint the mold shape in which the crystal piece will be cast. It is a particularly pleasurable moment to put it in the oven, because it includes a part of uncertainty, and a big dose of adrenaline: you open the door and discover if the piece is successful. Once the piece is finished, when the crystal catches and reflects the light, it is a revealer of great beauty! I see it as the result of my perseverance on sometimes very complex projects, and it is an immense honor to have been distinguished as a Knight of Arts and Letters. That day, a whole profession and savoir-faire were rewarded!

© Trafalgar Maison de Portraits & Romain Chambodut