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Saint-Louis - SS24 Chamade exceptional pieces

With Chamade, a set of three extraordinary hybrid pieces designed by Pierre Marie, Saint-Louis is expressing a wild and joyously daring vision of the ultra-exceptional. These incredibly imaginative pieces, which straddle the realms of large vases, sculptures and totems, echo equally impressive creations from the past. As ornamental pieces themselves adorned with motifs, they are the pinnacle of decoration.


Photo showing Saint-Louis' Chamade exceptional pieces: Soprano, Alto and Tenor

Pierre Marie focuses his work on the magnificent, the spectacular and the sumptuous. Chamade is the result of a dialogue between the extravagant world of the artist-decorator and the exceptional know-how of Saint-Louis, whose specific characteristics and vocabulary he has embraced. The three creations, Tenor, Also and Soprano, create a riot of joy in a hymn to the decorative arts as a discipline that sits between art and craft.

The presentation of Chamade comes in the wake of glassmaking being included on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2023.


Concept


Saint-Louis and Pierre Marie wanted to create amazement and surprise with some never-before-seen and wildly daring hybrid ornamental pieces. These extravagant totems, almost animistic in character, seem to have a presence of their own, like characters in an invisible theatre. They sing of happy enthusiasm in a riot of rejoicing. Alto, Tenor and Soprano sound the Chamade, inviting us to enjoy an interlude of happiness and freedom.


Pierre Marie’s creations are reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century, which celebrated the freedom of the artisan through an abundance of motifs, the sinuosity of the designs, the figure of nature and creative freedom for total art.


"It was my passion for the organ that first inspired the name Chamade for these exceptional Saint-Louis pieces. Trumpets are said to be ‘en chamade’ when, for both acoustic and decorative reasons, the pipes of the reed stops are placed horizontally on the front of the casing. These bouquets of trumpets formally echo the bud vases that adorn the three crystal pieces in the collection, originally inspired by Delft tulipières.
It was also the sound of the word, like a beating heart, that prompted me to look into its etymology. From the Italian chiamata, meaning ‘call’; derived from chiamare–
‘to call’ – with the suffix –ata, the orientalist Pihan derives this word from the Arabic شماتة: chamata meaning ‘riot of rejoicing’.
Finally, I discovered the true meaning of the word, which refers to the sounding of a drum or trumpet to lay down arms.”
Pierre Marie

To name each piece, Pierre Marie suggested using the same classification as for trumpets. The larger the trumpet, the deeper the pitch. The smaller they are, the higher their pitch. That is how they came to be called Tenor, Alto and Soprano.



Hybrid creations, totems of Saint-Louis’ expertise

With these three pieces, Pierre Marie showcases Saint-Louis’ signature areas of know-how: bold mouth-blown shapes and crystal lined with colour, revealed by rich hand-cutting.


Saint-Louis is also skilled at combining crystal and aluminum, which contributes to the exceptional character of these pieces. The creations in the Chamade collection straddle the realms of large vases, sculptures and totems. They can be simply admired or used by placing flowers in the vase and bud vases. The large Tenor amber vase and all the bud vases on the three pieces can be unscrewed for cleaning. The aluminum mechanical system that makes this operation possible is set with clear crystal evoking the shape of a fastening nut.


Tenor, Alto and Soprano are a demonstration of skill, creativity and ostentation.


Abundance: a generous ensemble of three decorative pieces


The trio is enriched by the assertive character of each piece, with its own dimensions, play of colours, and richly varied cut motifs. Making Chamade a coherent set of three pieces was an inspired choice by the designer to illustrate his mastery of profusion and the richness of the design of the shapes and cut patterns. While they form a

coherent whole, they can also stand alone.


The multiple sizes, volumes, types of objects and colours embody the pinnacle of decoration. The arrangement of each of the objects that make up the Chamade pieces (reeds, bud vases, vases, crystal and aluminium nuts, spheres, cones) sets them in motion and gives an almost organic abundance that nature could have produced, just as it creates the most complex patterns and shapes.


Pierre Marie has also challenged the conventions of the manufacture by playing with its colours in new ways. Saint-Louis is renowned for the range and sophistication of its colour palette, but this is the first time that such a rich combination of five colours has been used (purple, amethyst, chartreuse, amber and sky blue).

Finally, Pierre Marie’s cut designs form highly structured motifs, complex intricacies, and unique plant-like narrative sagas made up of a multitude of small pearl and bevel cuts.


The fully incorporated metal elements are made of aluminium, a material chosen for its ability to reflect light. Lightly brushed, they are inspired by a mechanical aesthetic. The design of these aluminium parts conveys their function: to carry and support these complex, precious and heavy crystal sculptures.


Expertise


The presentation of Chamade comes in the wake of glassmaking being included on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2023. A large number of time-honoured skills have been brought

together for this exceptional project.


Coloured crystal lining

A crystal lining is when a piece is made up of two layers of crystal, one clear and the other coloured. This signature Saint-Louis technique is carried out in the hot workshop by encasing a mass of clear molten crystal in a pre-prepared crown of

coloured crystal. Once the two layers of crystal have been assembled, the craftsman works the material with a shaping block, heating it several times before forming its shape with the blow-and-turn technique.


Blow-and-turn by hand

Hand-turning mouth-blown crystal has been one of Saint-Louis’ traditional techniques for several centuries. Once the crown of coloured lined crystal has been heated, the artisan forms its shape by placing it in a mould and blowing into it through his blowpipe, turning it continuously. This technique requires nimble hands and powerful lungs, as the glassmaker only has a few minutes to shape the crystal before it cools. The dexterity of its artisans allows Saint-Louis to offer heavy and impressive pieces that require great finesse and precision.


To make the Chamade shapes, five artisans are needed to produce the coloured lining and blow the sphere, four to make the vases and cones, and a further three for the bud vases.


Cutting: marking and cutting

In the cold workshop, the crystal must first be prepared by marking. This involves drawing a temporary line based on a geometric scheme. The crystal cutter then has a guide showing them where to cut to create the motif. For Chamade, the complexity of the intricate patterns of pearl and bevel cuts requires several hours of marking.


The artisan cutter then places the crystal against a grindstone to remove some of the material and create the cut. Grindstones come in a variety of diameters and profiles to create different patterns. Cutting particularly enhances the coloured crystal lining as it reveals the double layer of coloured and clear crystal.


The process used for the Chamade pieces can be referred to as ornate cutting. It takes one hour to cut each bud vase, seven hours for the upper Tenor, six hours for the lower Tenor sphere, nine hours for the Soprano sphere and 17 hours for

the particularly challenging Alto sphere.


Pressed crystal:

The clear crystal nuts at the base of each bud vase are made using pressing know-how. The artisan gathers molten material from the furnace using a blowpipe and places it in a mould at the centre of the press. It is then closed to press the crystal into the shape of the mould until it has cooled. Finally, the parts are polished and finished in the cold workshop.


Gluing and assembling the parts:

The Chamade exceptional pieces are made up of a very large number of glued and assembled parts. Soprano consists of 65 pieces, Alto of 129 pieces and Tenor of 184 pieces. Bonding the different crystal and aluminum components requires extreme precision to ensure the final creation is perfectly balanced.


Sandblasting

The Saint-Louis 2024 stamp, Pierre Marie’s signature and the number are applied to the pieces by sandblasting.


 

Tenor


Height: 37.4 in ; total diameter: 23.2 in ; weight: 37 kg


General composition of the piece: one screwed-on vase in amber lined crystal, two spheres in chartreuse lined crystal, 16 screwed-on bud vases in purple lined crystal, one cone in purple lined crystal, 20 reeds in clear crystal, three trays and

four feet in lightly brushed anodised aluminum.


The piece has a total of 184 assembled components.


Stamped by Saint-Louis and signed by Pierre Marie.

Numbered limited edition of eight pieces. Stamped, signed and numbered on the lower part of the lower chartreuse sphere.


Alto


Height: 33.8 in ; total diameter: 23.5 in ; weight: 24 kg


Composition of the piece: one sphere in amber lined crystal, three screwed-on bud vases in light blue lined crystal, three cones in purple lined crystal, 20 clear crystal reeds, two trays and four feet in lightly brushed anodised aluminium.


The piece has a total of 129 assembled components.


Stamped by Saint-Louis and signed by Pierre Marie. Numbered limited edition of eight pieces. Stamped, signed and numbered on the lower part of the amber sphere.


Soprano


Height: 23.2 in ; total diameter: 22.2 in ; weight: 16 kg


Composition of the piece: one sphere in amethyst lined crystal, one screwed-on bud vase in chartreuse lined crystal, one cone in purple lined crystal, ten clear crystal reeds, two trays and four feet in lightly brushed anodised aluminium.


The piece has a total of 65 assembled components.


Stamped by Saint-Louis and signed by Pierre Marie. Numbered limited edition of eight pieces. Stamped, signed and numbered on the lower part of the amethyst sphere.


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