For the Bettencourt Schueller Fondation Contest, "Prix de l’Intelligence de la Main" 

Ozio Gallery made with ❤ by



This creation is an artistic gesture between sculpture and cabinet making. With this soaring movement which seems to defy the weightlessness, it is inspired by wood chips shape rising with lightness like a smoke curl. This diverse wood variety's assembly appears thanks to the meeting of traditional and contemporary cabinet maker methods. The beautiful piece relates the story of a young man flying through the wood work. 

Idea's birth

Deep inside the workshop, in a closet, old tools are waiting. Wood chisels, rebate plane, several products used for experiences on furniture, wood shavings, some dirt, some sawdust have created in the course of work hours, a timeless mantle.

Among these sleeping residents, buried under several abandoned ideas, a little grey box sits and waits patiently. It faithfully waits for its time; it waits the hour when it will liberate what it contains.

This treasure it manages to preserve is just a second,, a gesture... This precious object is just a small curl of beech, a small curl of my soul...

It represents the outcome of a path of long doubts and fights, and especially it embodies my first cabinet-maker gesture, my birth in the wood work.

In the whistling of my sharp plane's iron, gliding on the wood's surface, fine parts of time rolled up. Then, they fell in the ground. I made my first shaving wood then, behind the walls of prestigious school Boulle. I picked up these small ringlets, destined to be burned, thrown out or swept away, and I put them into an empty box sitting on my workbench. I didn't imagine the emotion they'll give me when I'll discover them after 5 years at the end of my workshop in their makeshift case.

The sculpture “Itinéraire” relates this emotion I used to feel when I open this box. It embodies the time when I fight to be compatible with the school and society's rules and it reminds me the day when I found my way to you. 

The Itinéraire's base is made with curves and movements inspired by smoke curls or flames. The wood fibers and the faces wave in all directions, they take shape on a sculpted oak base, weighted with lead. This scrolls ends up converging and wrapping themselves, they lean on this support which seems to become finer. The structure is composed of Sapelli Mahogany veneers which seem to defy the gravity.

The Itinéraire's cover is made up of African rosewood's veneers, a wood with very visible veins and a warm brown color. The pale color of Sycamore and the wave of its texture light up inside the compositions. A mixing of wax and oil protect the sculpture, reveal the veins drawing and accentuate the wood color.


Into which creative approach enter this creation ? 

With this creation, I search to express my passion for wood, playing with its natural curves and counter-curves. I wanted to go over the physical limits of matter twisting and to push my technical skills of vacuum cladding, in order to express the emotion I can feel when I design stories with the turbulent wood fibers. This realization required all my knowledge: from graphic design to sculpture, but also through marquetry and cabinet making. With this work, I wanted to play with the boundary between Craftsman and Artist.

Technical processes used :

Vacuum cladding with fish glue

Casting on a die

Sculpture on wood

Lead ballasting


Cladding with nerve and bone glue

Gravure Laser engraving

Precise description of these processes :

Vacuum cladding:
To realize the coiling aspect, I past 8 veneer sheets (6 Sapelli, 1 Sycamore and 1 Etimoe) crossing the wood fibers direction sheet by sheet. I have chosen the fish glue because of its long setting time. It is required for arrange the gluing. Then, this assembly is placed on the Oak bases and vacuum pressed during 48 hours into a casting bag made to measure and realized for this creation. Finally, I have to let the glue solidify during still 24 hours outside the casting bag.

Casting on a die:
The glued veneer is put into the casting bag. Then it is reeled around cylinder. To fix the base, supports maintain it into the assembly. This die is made of medium wood. This assembly is maintained into the casting bag with clamps and straps.

Wood sculpture:
The sculpture base is realized in solid Oak sanded with a disc, then it shaped with gouges, files and rifflers.

Lead ballasting:
To guarantee the sculpture’s stability, I made a hole into the base where I casted lead. I let bumps on the surface of hole to be sure the lead fixed. To end this stage, I glued a piece of crosscut wood which hides the intervention.

The marquetry of the sculpture base was realized with coping saw. I made cardboard patterns and I copied this shapes on the cut stack. The cut stack is a piling of diverse elements, in the center you put the veneer you want to cladding. This cut stack is made of Angouma veneers which are the martyred pieces and sheets of paper greased with suet, to lubricate the blade.

Cladding with nerve and bone glue:
The marquetry of the base required an adjustment directly on the sculpture. So I fixed the veneer with hot glue. It’s a mixing of bone glue and nerve glue, heated in a bain-marie (2 volumes of bone glue for 1 volume of nerve glue). The glue is applied with brush then the wood is put with a special hammer. If it is required, the gluing is ended with a warm iron.

Laser engraving:
The name of this creation is engraved on its base. The engraving and the veneer cutting are realized with laser cut machine (Trotec Speedy 300).

For this creation, I had to do a number of trials, especially to identify the resistance of veneer and glue, in order to obtain the movement I drew. For that, I tested a lot of glues. I had to make my own casting bags because the existing bags didn’t allow realizing the coiling I would. It was very difficult to pass from the 3 dimensions movement of the solid Oak base to the 2 dimensions movement of the Mahogany casting veneer. I had to imagine a harmonious way to to reconcile solidity and aesthetic. Indeed this transition must be resistant, it supports the volute and it allows the movement’s emergence.