‘I am constantly fired-up with creative ideas for seats. I like to give them a soul.’
With a Masters in International Business under her belt, followed by five years in human resources in Paris and London, Claire Maillard became increasingly haunted by the desire abandon office life and to work creatively with her hands instead.
The turning point came for her in 2008, when she pursued her passion for sewing (acquired in childhood) and interior design by studying for a year at the School of Nancy Condé in Lorraine.
This experience crystallised Claire’s ambition to train in the art of upholstery, as she was attracted by the technical and manual nature of the work. She learned to upholster seats and qualified with a certificate in furniture upholstery and sewing from Neufchâteau, and since 2010 has been running her own workshop in Nancy.
Claire defines her creative impulse as giving a new life to often neglected seats, allowing them to convey their soul and beauty. She has a flair for use of contrast and for mixing modern design with traditional techniques where natural, sustainable materials such as strapping, springs, horsehair and cotton padding are incorporated.
Claire uses a variety of materials to form the frame of her chairs and, taking inspiration from the structure of clothing, she has explored the links between the sensuality of dressing a body and that of a seat, echoing the seams of garments in her upholstery.
The result of these converging influences means each chair not only retains its primary identity as a practical object but also becomes an object of art.
In addition to her creative interpretations, Claire also takes pleasure restoring classical upholstered furniture, employing her mastery of traditional trimming techniques.
More information on http://www.claire-m.com/