BETWEEN RIGOR AND AUDACITY
Franck Chartrain is a passionate artist who creates furniture and art objects in metal. To create, Franck becomes one with the material that he converts, sculpts and brings to life unique pieces that are situated between two worlds: art and decoration. Trained by the Compagnons du Devoir, Franck Chartrain has been an ironworker for over 30 years. Approved by the Lalanne couple, the designer launches Chartrain Collection, a line of furniture and sculptures that represents over 15 years of creation. A collection developed with his wife Angélique, in which he modernizes and breaks down the craft of ironwork with audacity. From the first sketch to the creation of exclusive textures and patinas, Franck is involved in all stages of manufacturing.
To date, Franck Chartrain’s pieces have been sold for Cartier boutiques in the United States, for the Boucheron boutique in Paris via the PYR agency, to furnish a duplex in Paris (more than 10 pieces), a chalet in Aspen as well as private residences in New York, Canada and Italy.
Franck Chartrain, born in 1971, is a French creator in art furniture and artwork who expresses his design through outstanding savoir-faire. He graduated from the french College of "Les Compagnons du Devoir", founded during the middle ages, which is specialized in teaching excellence in craftsmanship and design history. Therefore, being a specialist in those fields, he started to look for conceptions requiring an uncommon quality of realization. He started by teaching how to forge and make different styles of ornamental metal work. Then, with the desire to expand his horizons he decided to do pieces using exceptional skills. He opened a studio in 2002 in the United States of America, dedicated to making high end projects in metal. From there, he established a reputation of connoisseur in conception and fabrication among famous interior designers and architects worldwide.
- In 2006, he met and worked with the Lalanne, his "colleagues", who encouraged him to create his own pieces .
- In 2009, a new studio was opened in France, developing engineering research in order to go further in his work.
- In 2012, "The Franck Chartrain Collection" was ready to display 15 years of personal work and dedication. The strong distinction of these pieces renders them immediately recognizable, from the sculptural design to the flawless finish quality, genuinely moving clients by their exquisite precision.
The Franck Chartrain Collection is now in demand among collectors, international designers, and famous jewelers. His work is featured in exhibitions abroad, in galleries such as "Maison Gerard" in New York City, as well as the biggest art fairs around the world. Ranging from "The International Fine Art § Antique Show", to the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, and "Revelations" in The Grand Palais, Paris, France.
Franck Chartrain's workshop was named "Métier d'Art" in 2012, and has also earned prestigious awards, such as the "Living Heritage Company", also known as the EPV label which is a mark of recognition of the French State put in place to reward French firms for the excellence of their craftsman skills.
Signatures Singulières Magazine caught up with Angélique Chartrain for an interview.
How did the idea of creating Chartrain Collection come about?
Angélique Chartrain: It was after meeting the Lalanne family while working for Peter Marino that my husband, Franck Chartrain, decided to develop his own art collection. The artist couple enthusiastically discovered Franck’s creations and encouraged him on his creative path. It was a project he had been working on for some time. This meeting was the catalyst. His expertise in metalwork, his constant desire to develop the technical aspects of his creations and his desire to create led him to imagine a collection of exclusive pieces.
You launched the brand with your husband. What was your role in this project?
Angélique Chartrain: I joined Franck in this new adventure because I share the same artistic sensibility. Together, we bring a timeless and precious beauty to each piece, combining rare and precious natural elements that I wish to integrate with my husband’s ironwork. We are complementary in the development of this collection. While Franck designs the sketch, I define the design direction of the pieces, as well as the involvement and interaction between the different materials we want to work with.
We are both passionate about, and very sensitive to, the various fossils, precious stones, meteorites and ceramics that we discover through our perpetual research into materials. These are priceless treasures that we aim to showcase through our work. Understanding the workings of materials through ongoing dialogue with Franck, enables me to take a more technical approach to the fields in which I work, and to go further and further in questioning the technicalities I can offer. I also try to provide a reading of the different works on offer, by presenting the pieces in the form of a Collection.
How do you view these creations?
Angélique Chartrain: The function of the Chartrain Collection pieces is above all to arouse the emotion that transports us into the wonder of the senses, rather than to express a conceptual representation of ideas. These creations are part of the history of Art furniture, as they combine the boldness of a more contemporary design with exceptional craftsmanship.
Our signature is an integral one, because our work is entirely shaped by Franck and myself. From the idea to the design, right through to the finishing touches. It’s a complete work, a maieutic of matter that comes to life thanks to our expertise. The quality of our workmanship makes our pieces unique. Both exclusive and recognizable by the quality of their execution, our works, in constant interaction with light, reveal themselves in the unspeakable.
Do you have any new projects for Chartrain Collection?
Angélique Chartrain: We want to concentrate on creating new sculptural pieces that showcase the forging work in a more contemporary way. Our collections will be exhibited in a private indoor gallery and in a 7.41 acres park. The studio can be visited on request, and vernissages will be held on site in a dedicated area to showcase the Chartrain’s latest creations. Creations with other artists and designers are also on the cards, as are collaborations with international architects and decorators who love our world.
Based on his strong training, Franck Chartrain is able to realize his own pieces transmitting remarkable savoir-faire to his team. Beginning with the initial sketch, esthetical drawings, and study of all the technical aspects, assembly, textures and patina, each piece will exclusively represents the Franck Chartrain Collection. It requires Franck's expertise, and his knack for design to invest the piece with remarkable personality through the craftsmanship gesture.
Thanks to his savoir-faire, he finds a wealth of inspiration in metal. The exceptional deployment of artistic creation with Angélique involves the transfiguration of metal, which he shapes through the elements to give life to a work that is one with its creators.
Each piece from the Franck Chartrain Collection is demonstrating a virtuosity of realization in the tradition of art furniture's great masters.