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Wood Exorcist

by Damien Brachet in Design on 19 July 2005

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Yann Hervis is a rare craftsman of inlaid wood marquetry, bridging into contemporary art and interior design. His refined combination of precious woods humanizes the usually cold transit spaces of architectural projects: lobbies, doors, staircases, ceilings, elevators... In the process, while experimenting with the natural grains of wood, their colours, densities, textures, and natural dyes, he came to create his signature "palimpsests". By combining vacuum pressed collage with high pressure sand blasting, he created his own technique on strata of precious woods he attacks with sand, revealing inlaid calligraphies, secret figures imprinted deep in the wood's unique history.

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Hailing from a family of cabinet makers in Orleans, Yann discovered the technique of marquetry - wood inlaid work - had no contemporary applications so far. His contemporary furniture caught the eyes of Jean-michel Wilmotte and Andrée Putman, and he went on to decorate boutiques, embassies, hotels and residences around the world. He uses natural grains of wood as brush strokes, differing in color, density and texture, and vegetal dyes, working on exotic woods from Brazil and Africa, from walnut, cherry tree, sycamore, to mahogany and maple. Art deco lives, in wood.

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