Meet the Makers: Valentina and Sebastien, La Soufflerie, Paris
Established in 2007 as a glassblowing cooperative, La Soufflerie’s original glass designs are handblown from recycled glass. Out of their Parisian studio, in the 15th arrondissement, they work with and learn from, skilled craftsmen who carry on the ancient artisan tradition.
Sebastien has a background in plaster mold making. With Moulage et Patine, his other company, he creates beautiful pieces for museums, boutiques, hotels, and private clients. He also teaches at the famous school of Les Beaux-Arts of Paris. Valentina, an Italian American, grew up in Paris and went to NYU art school in New York City before dedicating herself to the art of glassblowing.
Sebastien made the realisation that the craft of traditional mouth blown glass was becoming a dying art: At the time, fewer than five professional glassblowers were still active in the Paris region. Upon learning this, Valentina and Sebastien decided to start La Soufflerie, a non-profit organisation that gives all its proceeds back to the glassblowers to keep the ancient art alive. They started in 2007 by creating 20 pieces from recycled glass, loading them on the back of their bikes and riding around Paris to sell their pieces to flower shops. They sold out in a day and received lots of feedback as to what kind of vases customers needed.
Sebastien and Valentina find inspiration from classic designs and also from people in their lives. Many of the pieces are named after family members, friends, clients, and co-workers. Thibaut and Chiara are named after their children. Djamal and Anjeanette are named after the studio manager and Community Manager. Les Bougies de Melanie are named after a close friend.
Round Glass Bottiglia Del Nonno CarafeHotel Grand Amour £39
Drink up – this medium round carafe’s big enough to hold a second round. It’s part of the Bottiglia Del Nonno collection, and has been crafted with expert attention to detail. The narrow neck is met at the round base by an unusual rim, in a shape that nods to the bottles of alchemists. Pick your potion of choice and fill it up for dinner – it’s great for wine, and non-alcoholic drinks alike. The glass it’s made from is recycled and hand-blown, making it a real talking point.
Bicchiere Hand-blown Textured Glasses, Set of 4Hotel Grand Amour From
These glasses make a bubbly addition to any cupboard – literally. They’re hand-blown from recycled glass by artisans in Paris, lending them a bubbled, textured appearance. And they’re thick-walled too, making them durable. Despite using techniques developed centuries ago, this set of 4 glasses has a contemporary look as well as an individuality – thanks to their hand-blown production methods. Hand-blown by glassblowers in Paris Made from recycled and straight-sided, hand-blown glass