Fascinated by precious wood and rare materials, Walter Bellini makes boxes and luxurious contemporary office accessories inspired by decorative French fourteenth-century techniques.
Getting to the Heart of Creation, Passion and Know-how
Since his childhood in the Italian Apennines, Parisian cabinetmaker Walter Bellini has retained his attraction to working with his hands and a fascination for wood processing. After training in woodwork and inlaying at the prestigious Boulle school, he founded his own studio where he makes decorative items and office accessories with racy and masculine lines.
Bellini puts exceptional materials at the center of his approach, which immediately address the luxury sector. As if he were sending us an invitation to travel, he carefully selects many rare and precious woods for use in his artistic pieces, including white ebony wood from Laos, Santos rosewood from Bolivia and lemon tree wood from Sri Lanka.
Inspired by Boulle marquetry – a French decorative art of the fourteenth century that consists of adding metal, mother of pearl or tortoiseshell to the wood— Bellini favors a game of contrasts and the mixing of materials within his collections, much to the delight of his discerning clientele.
Bellini also establishes a dialogue between his creations. Once two pieces are placed side by side, their unique colors, materials and patterns interact to show off his stunning artistry.
Mammoth Ivory Wood
Bellini has made many wonderful creations, but boxes and cases definitely hold a special place for the artist. As symbols of mystery and secrecy, these objects take him on a journey back to his childhood, when he started conceiving of and elaborating on his designs in the family workshop. In his collections, the box can become a cufflinks case, a card games box or even a distinguished cigar cellar.
Bellini also uses mammoth ivory wood, a surprisingly beautiful material used in traditional violin making and the manufacture of conventional concert guitars.
Mammoth ivory wood is most often associated with black ebony, which is an extremely hard wood known to be especially difficult to work. For Bellini, ebony perfectly symbolizes the work of the craftsman, “It’s a very complicated material to implement … it is brittle and fragile, it is difficult to glue, it blunts the tools and represents a real technical challenge (that) only know-how and experience can overcome.”
Little known and equally valuable, white ebony from Laos is also privileged to be used in the work of Walter Bellini. Its white cream color veined with black produces visually impactful graphic motifs and surprisingly evokes the landscapes often found in Japanese prints.