Interview Thierry Martenon: The art of woodworking

“Wood is my native tongue”

Thierry Martenon has a wood-working studies certificate, but he is more-overly a self-taught artist. In his memories, he has always been a sculptor, until the day he made it his job, in his grandparent’s old stable in the Chartreuse. “I grew-up in a rural area, where art didn’t represent a job. Today, still I do not consider myself to be an artist. I am a sculptor.”

His technic: direct sculpting and liberty

After drawing in his notebook, he stays with them, the forms take life, as if being freed from the tree trunks bit by bit as the material falls.  Thierry works with the local varieties.  “I look for a good tree, very dense, which grew slowly.  I like to create new technics to enhance the beauty of the material, taking on more light.”  The light is always being sought-out by the sculptor who looks to celebrate it in his works.  “It is the light that makes the pieces of wood come alive.”

His inspirations: Without limi

The artist is inspired by natural elements like vegetation, animals or minerals. He is equally inspired by modern art. “Certain artists greatly inspire me, like Paul Klee, Brancusi, Soulages…The inspiration can come from everywhere. At certain moments I soak-in many influences.”

His works: Elegance of materials

Primitive forms, reliefs, lines and curves bring out the wood in the form of statues and sculptured murals.  “My works are not intellectualized, they come from the gestures.  I don’t give them names.  I have to be completely free, without constraints.”  A liberty that he also cultivates in his life, “I am anchored in this village, far from the world of art and the galleries.  My roots are as long as those of the trees I sculpt.”

In addition to the exhibitions, Thierry Martenon receives by appointment in his workshop. He works regularly with interior architects, including Anne-Sophie and Jean-Marc Mouchet, collaborators of Rising Stone. He recently edited the fourth edition of his book “From Wood and From Ink” from Glénat publishers. With Jazz music in the background, discover his collections and his workshop while visiting his website. Thierry Martenon is a long-time passionate about wood-working, with a great gentleness. In the heart of a living-room, for the decoration of a bedroom or out in nature, his works take life as they take-on light for a stunning result.