♦ LALIQUE :
One hundred and twenty workers – blowers, sculptors and engravers – are directly involved in making Lalique pieces. Whether they do hot glass and cold glass work, “all of our workers show manual skill, a degree of artistic sensitivity and a passion for their job without which nothing great could be achieved,” observes Denis Mandry, Director of the factory. It’s not only a matter of technical virtuosity, because “the ultimate purpose of this facility and our personnel is to express the dreams and the emotion that the creator had in mind”.
Most of the workers got their vocational training in a work-study program at one of France’s two remaining schools (one is in Sarrebourg in Moselle, and the other in Moulins in L’Atelier). After learning the basics in the classroom, they need several more years on the job before they master their craft. In cold glass and hot glass workshops alike, it takes about ten years to train a good glassblower, sculptor or cute-en-graver. Nothing a shortfall in the number of artisans completing vocational training for the third year in a row, Lalique set up its own training centre in cooperation with the national employment office and a regional job centre.
The company’s seven MOF artisans have several things in common. They all have a passion for their craft, strive for perfection themselves and like to test their skills. They are equally motivated. Last but not least, they all have a competitive streak! The MOF challenge represents an investment time-wise. For the “Class of 2015”, two to three years elapsed between the moment when they entered the competition and the certificate award ceremony at the Sorbonne, followed by a reception at the Presidential Elysée Palace on July 6, 2015.
Eric Harter and Matthieu Muller both won MOF status last year. They competed in the same category (sculpture-engraving) and presented the same piece. Carved from a 40 kg block of crystal, the figure that earned them the title, which represents a fox, is impressive for its realism, strength and beauty.