After a Literary BAC, I followed a year of Upgrading in Applied Art in Caen. I then spent two years in Rochefort-sur-mer within the embroidery DMA of the Lycée Gilles Jamain. There, I had the chance to learn to create materials using, among other things, metallic embroidery techniques. To go further in my research around the fusion of metal and textile, and in order to invest my artistic principles on a larger scale, I registered to a second DMA (ENSAAMA in Paris). I learned to work with metal and shape it with a hammer. I graduated in 2019. Now, I am engaged in the working life as a creative craftswoman. I create materials and architectural decorations.
Angélique Chesnesec, portrait by Augustin Détienne
I particularly appreciate the filling stitches such as needle painting, vermicelli or even couching. They offer rhythmic material effects that vary depending on the material. I make my own beads, sequins, ribbons, threads and cannetilles (purl) and then I embroider them using traditional techniques. I use embroidery as a system of articulation and I use weaving, crochet and stitching to assemble. I would like to learn how to use a hand loom. This artisanal machine would allow me to create my own fabrics and to weave large pieces mixing various materials.
I mainly use raw material threads such as flax, hemp; metallic wires such as silver, iron, steel, copper wire; or leather, rubber tube … I always try to choose the right stitch and the right thread (color, texture, thickness) according to the desired effect.
Weaving of fragments , 2016 – 30 x 25 x 5 cm. Steel and copper
Before the realization, I experiment by drawing and by making models. I thus deduce assembly systems, shapes, colors and textures. I choose a technique according to the composition and the material effects that I want to create. I will be inspired by existing techniques and their aesthetic and functional peculiarities to adapt them to the materials I want to embroider or assemble. The idea is to embroider the unconventional materials with traditional techniques.
I use fill stitches to create a texture with metallic elements that I embroider like beads or sequins. Or, I assemble empty spaces with chain stitches or I connect elements with woven threads, etc. My goal is to give a robust and architectural character to the embroidery.
It’s the material that inspires me: a piece of metal, a fabric, a texture, a shape. I analyze this material, this object, and I experiment with various ways of highlighting it, modifying it, associating it or even suggesting it with another material.
I like to repeat rigorously a stitch, a fold, a shape, a line and modify it by a process of deformation. It is then the material which is expressed and which responds to a constraint. Each material reacts differently, depending on its properties.
I choose the materials according to their own particularities, which is why I mix them. In this way, they give birth to hybrid materials where rigidity and fluidity, robustness and fragility, raw and sophisticated harmonize.
Scraps, 2018 – 15 x 12 x 2 cm. Steel, silver and leather threads
Embroidery / Sculpture
I am an embroiderer and metal sculptor. I combine the two skills to create materials. I shape the fabric, the metal, the leather … I use the folds to modify the materials and give them relief. I experiment with materials using techniques from another profession. The metal is for example pleated and then pinched, like a fabric. The fabric is compressed and its layers are accumulated so that it becomes rigid.
I like to play with materials and associate them with others, so as to cause confusion. I work with metal to make embroidery supplies, I use textile techniques to assemble and articulate rigid panels, I weave a textile in a steel structure, or I shape the metal to make it conform to the shapes of a textile. When I want to make a piece, I question myself by comparing the technical possibilities of the two skills. I experiment and then choose the most suitable, or the most unexpected. I think that these different formations have enriched my artistic approach and my outlook, I easily switch from one material to another by adapting the techniques. I admit that it is sometimes a real headache, and that’s what I like.
Radiator material, 2017 – 32 x 25 cm. Linen, purl, silver and steel laminated threads
I am mainly inspired by natural and industrial elements that catch my attention for their organization, color, texture and shape. I am particularly sensitive to irregular materials, rhythmic repetitions, accumulations and folds. The car junkyard in which I collect raw materials and objects is full of deteriorated mechanical elements and crumpled and deformed sheets. I want to promote this waste and bear witness to this universe to which I am sensitive. For example, the “Radiator” pieces are three textile translations of the organization of a car radiator. I analyzed the object, then I experimented with assemblages of matter to transcribe its aesthetic and its pattern. Associating small metal parts that I had collected with the textile, allowed me to create articulated and modular materials.
The artists who inspire me are Simone Pheulpin, Paul Balme, Marinette Cueco, Janaïna Milheiro, Pietro Seminelli, Richard Sweeney or even Issey Miyake.
Radiator embroidery, 2017 – 40 x 35 cm. Wool tweed, braided ribbon, stainless steel, leather and steel
Being the winner of the 2018 Métier d’Art Avenir Prize encouraged me a lot. It is a great recognition that confirms my plan for the future. I had the opportunity to meet interesting and caring people who advised me and gave me their impressions.
The award I received will help me build a workshop quickly. Thanks to this financial support, I am soon planning to participate in a trade fair to enrich my network and be more visible to potential clients and specifiers.
The enthusiasm for this series made me want to continue expanding the “Radiator” collection. Other sketches, drawings and models are just waiting to be made. I am also considering making wall decorations on a larger scale so that we can better appreciate the material and its movements.
My goal is to continue producing personal pieces but also to collaborate with other trades to produce original works and small series. I plan, for example, to collaborate with interior designers to integrate certain creations into an architectural space. I would very much like to have specific commissions to make a partition, decorate a wall or a custom ceiling.
The content of this site is free and is not damaged by un-welcomed publicity. I do this work with love and passion but it requires a lot of time. I would like to continue to offer a wider market to our artists, to show how embroidery is a wonderful art. But I do need a little bit of help. If you feel like it, you can participate with a little donation to help me continue. I will be so grateful! Thank you! Claire