Lalique has been creating glass and crystal pieces at Wingen-sur-Moder for over 100 years, thanks to the exceptional skills of its craftsmen. Men and women work as a close-knit team at the furnaces and grinding wheels in the secret of the workshops, producing pieces that will be sold worldwide. Whatever their job, they are all vital links in an invisible chain.
With the « Lalique en grand » exhibition, the museum has chosen to reveal something of this intimate universe through Karine Faby’s large-scale photographs (120x180cm). They take us on a journey into the life of the crystalworks (visits are not authorised).
The exhibition begins in the chemistry laboratory, where the exact composition of the crystal is defined depending on the specific object and the colours required. The potters’ job is to create crucibles in which the raw materials will be melted. Changing a crucible is always a spectacular, precise and very hot stage in the process!
Lalique moulds - they are now produced in-house - are the tangible hallmarks, the memory, of the crystalworks. They are carefully stored after use until the glassworkers give them a new life as their highly skilled gestures - a combination of force and subtlety - replenish the moulds with crystal in fusion.
Over the last decade, Lalique has revived the lost wax technique that its founder cherished for his exceptional pieces. The exhibition presents two stages in the process: the wax being poured into the mould, and the removal of the mould, to reveal the object.
In the cold glass workshops, the pieces are cross-cut to remove surplus matter, before being touched up to enhance the motifs. The decor workshop then prepares the pieces for satin finishing, and applies gold or enamel to certain motifs.
The maintenance team ensures the perfect functioning of all parts of the facilities, while the assembly team puts together the pieces destined to become lamps, decorative panels, etc.
And finally, the finished objects are washed to ensure they arrive spotless in the hands of their future owners. They are packed by the logistics team and sent off to the four corners of the planet.
Alongside the exhibition, the Lalique Museum will have the pleasure of organising demonstrations by workers at the crystalworks during the European Artistic Crafts Days on 1 and 2 April 2023.
Fascinated by the magic of light, Karine Faby has huge admiration for the gestures of skilled craftsmen and the transmission of their know-how. Her photographs capture ambiences and pay tribute to the skills demonstrated in the worlds of craftsmanship, industry and gastronomy. Her priority is to portray men and women at work.
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