Mademoiselle FRAISE - Copper & gold
The pseudonym for 34 year-old Mathilde, Montreuil resident since 2009, suits her well. (Miss Strawberry)
Colorful, fresh and with great taste, this nick-name, given to her by her husband, is a great reflection of her work.
This young "Furniture Stylist" is specialised in restoration and renovation as well as in copper and gold gilding (gold/copper-leaf), her brand signature.
Since her teenage years she knew she wanted to work in restoration...but not with furniture at the time. That came later on.
Every day on her way to school in Nantes, where she did a specialised Baccalaureat in Art History, she used to walk past a fine art restoration workshop and she was fascinated by it. She asked her Mum what she should do and her Mum encouraged her to go and see them. She did and from that moment on she set foot in a new world.
That sealed it for her, she knew what she wanted to so. She did a 3-year degree in painting restoration and after her graduation she started working for the renown Atelier Arcoa where she stayed for 10 years participating in numerous prestigious projects.
Let's meet Mathilde, look at her career and her beautiful renovated furniture, a collection done with taste and lots of creativity
LONG LIVE PATRIMONY!
During her 10 years with Arcoa, she worked on a lot of prestigious projects, such as the Elysée Palace, the Parliament buildings as well as many private mansions and historic and religious monuments.
She restored framed and wall-paintings as much as she did historical decors which were often created with chalk paint.
One particular project really made an impact on Mathilde, the restoration of different elements and paintings at the Jumièges Abbey, a structure which dates from 654
"It was quite breathtaking, we worked outside underneath the arched ceilings. It lasted around 6 or 7 months with magnificent surroundings. When we arrived on site in the morning it was covered in mist and we could hear the birds singing. It was fabulous"
Photo credits Arcoa.
(except facade and full picture of the Abbey)
RENOVATE - INNOVATE
In 2016 Mathilde took parental leave for 18 months. It gave her time to think about what she wanted to do, it was time for a change. Attracted to interior design, furniture, vintage and a fan of antique hunting and junk yards, her idea started to take shape.
"I was wondering how I could mix interior design together with the manual side I didn't want to lose"
She found it - furniture renovation. She thought it was now or never, especially as she had taken a redundancy package, a great help to finance her new business. However she still continued to do restoration work as a freelance, sometimes working with Arcoa.
Her knowledge and expertise of materials and her command of colours, coatings and varnishes gave her a clear advantage in her new adventure.
She perfected her gold and copper gilding techniques thanks to a master gold-leaf gilder who shares her workshop in Montreuil, Damien De Laâge, and her woodworking skills thanks to furniture maker Pierre Marin and workshop owner Patrice Santais.
"There are loads of girls doing furniture renovation out there nowadays, so I needed to stand out,
I thought the copper and gold leaf gilding would be a unique touch"
Different finishes by Mathilde
You can find them all in this catalogue here
Chest of drawers
"It's the wood that creates the design"
MADE TO MEASURE
In her first year of activity Mathilde concentrated on perfectng her skills but also managed to create some bespoke items, notably for the local concept store Tatas Flingueuses (see Guide) where she created the counter and other displays.
Since then she has transformed lots of items for her various exhibitions and sales points as well as creating made-to-measure items for different clients.
She always meets her clients first and gets to know their tastes, their current decor and their expectations.
Either the client provides the furniture or Mathilde can find it for them. Whichever way around it's always tailored to the client's wishes, with particular attention to detail on the materials and colours used as well as the finishes.
Beyond working with wood, paint and copper and gold-leaf, Mathilde is also a talented upholsterer, having completed a course 2 years ago.
She has a funky collection of chairs, each one more beautiful than the next. A treat for the eyes...and the bum!!
To refurbish her chairs, Mathilde uses spare upholstery material given to her by another chair designer based in Montreuil
Chairs between 150€-200€
Below, an armchair that she renovated She scoured, sanded and varnished the wood and re-upholstered the whole chair adding extra cushioning for better comfort
ON THE HUNT
Mathilde finds her furniture everywhere - gumtree, yard sales, junk yards, antique dealers...even in the street. If that's not zero waste I don't know what is!
She does a lot of tests between her renovations, working with different products, testing colours and gilding. When she does start a job she doesn't always have a fixed idea in mind.
"I start with a blank page, it's the piece of furniture that guides me"
Here below you can see the different stages of a dining table that she renovated (50h of work)
She scoured, brushed, stained, varnished, gilded, sanded, re-varnished then waxed.
It was a lot of work but when you see the transformation and the quality of the result you understand her passion.
CLICK ON THE ARROW ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THE PHOTO TO SEE EACH STAGE. CLICK ON THE PHOTO ON MOBILE VERSION.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
At the moment Mathilde is working jointly on a project with the plumassière (feather artist) Béatrice Bost-Le Mouël from atelier Plumavera called "Unique et Signé" - a network of artists and craftswomen who are collaborating together to create unique, signed works of art/decorative /items/furniture.
Their creation will be displayed and on sale during the "Printemps des Puces" at the world-famous flea market Puces de St-Ouen, at the Marché Dauphine between the 16th of May and the 30th of June.
There will also be other creatons from Mathilde on show.
Mathilde is full of energy and ideas
She has a real talent and excellent taste, her creations won't leave you indifferent
There is a very pop, contemporary look to her work, but always a great respect for the object itself,
its past and the original material
There is transformation not travesty
Cool elegance in harmony with today's tastes and trends
"I love working with my hands. When the piece is finished, I love seeing clients' reactions when they
finally get their creation. It's really special to particpate in the happiness they get from their home environment,
it makes me feel closer to people"
Check out Mathilde's creations on line
or contact her directly for a made-to-measure project
+33 (0) 6 61 34 22 52
- I fell in love with Montreuil
- The neighbourhood vibe
- There is lots of sharing/exchanges
- The creativity which is everywhere here
- No need to go into Paris anymore
- I am not ready to leave!