French artist Marie Flambard expresses her creativity in a variety of beautiful glass creations, taking inspiration from plants, minerals, and many other organic elements. By diverting the form and symbolism from her favorite subjects, Flambard questions humanity’s relationship with the world and the wonders we encounter.
Introduction to Glass as a Medium
After studying art, where she explored plants as the subject of her work in design and photography, Flambard discovered glass and its infinite possibilities as an artistic medium. It was at the European Center for Research and Training in Glass Arts (CERFAV) where she began to fully explore the techniques of working with glass; she was especially focused on the methods of using a torch and on the use of glass “paste”. After graduating in 2013, this talented young artist continued her training in a European institution that promotes travel and the diffusion of knowledge. In 2015, she founded her studio in northeastern France in a place called Baccarat – the Mecca of the history and artistry of working with glass and crystal.
Nature as the Source of Inspiration
Driven by a desire to reveal the beauty of the world around us, Flambard explores the domain of its plants, minerals, and organisms. By playing with shapes and scale from the macroscopic to the microscopic, she involves herself in a real exploration of life that engagingly emphasizes the aesthetics of a seemingly endless variety of shapes and materials.
Flambard’s links her work with glass to other materials such as leather, wood, and silicone to show us the beauty of a world that we sometimes do not see; in her collection Lombric (Earthworm) (2013), she was inspired by the lowly earthworm to create elegant high-end jewelry. In her collection titled Eau (Water) (2014), she “freezes” different situations of a liquid – a waterfall, ice, or droplets, for example – to create a range of unusually striking ornaments. More recently, she developed an artistic rapport with the body, in Excroissance (Outgrowth) (2015), glass becomes flesh in an engaging collection that could be described as halfway between jewelry and sculpture. Flambard is currently at work creating decorative and utilitarian objects such as cups and tea services.
Tradition and New Technologies
Although her designs appeal to and utilize ancestral know-how, the French artist regularly uses new technologies. Being sensitive to the participatory philosophy of the FabLab, she explores the possibilities of 3D printing and laser cutting to innovate and create shapes that would be impossible to accomplish through traditional means. But Flambard does not consider the use of technological tools as part of her real artistic purpose – she simply recognizes that they allow her to deepen her approach and overcome technical constraints.