The Brittany-based designer, artist, and furniture maker Jean-Luc Le Mounier has been acquainted with the world of craftsmanship since his childhood, a large part of which was spent in the workshop of his grandfather, a carpenter. “Already when I was very young,” says Le Mounier, “I was passionate about building objects, I made miniature wooden furniture, I tested all kinds of things, just like today.”
At the age of 18, he committed himself to a life of cabinetmaking, enrolling at the elite Compagnons du Devoir. The prestigious school lived up to its reputation for rigor—for the subsequent decade Le Mounier trained “a bit like the samurai,” he says, seven days a week until his craft was thoroughly mastered, his title, Compagnon du Devoir, unquestionable.
In 2003, Le Mounier opened his own workshop in Dinard, collaborating with a number of prominent designers, notably the famous Maria Pergay, whom he credits with pushing him to “take more risks, and to understand that nothing is impossible to achieve.”
In 2010, Le Mounier committed himself entirely to his own designs. He finds inspiration everywhere, but in particular in nature, architecture, and the fashion industry, which he’s observed with admiration for years for its unbridled creativity.
Each composition reveals a certain boldness and sensitivity. Behind all of his creations “there is an idea, a story,” often originating in his particular region of France, or from his meetings, or his holiday memories. However intimate these ideas often are, his primary goal is to properly evoke the wonder he finds in them. He believes that a project is only truly successful when his audience is able to explain to him what “it feels like to see [the] work and not the other way around.”
By concentrating on his graphic (and consummately elegant) style, a subtle blend of tradition and the avant-garde, it is possible to overlook an essential quality of Le Mounier’s work—that each piece is executed by his own masterful hand. By employing ever-more complex techniques, wedding rare species of wood with precious metals in novel arrangements, and endowing each piece with incredible components (hidden drawers, or facades of impossible intricacy), Le Mounier creates work, astonishing and seductive in equal measure, that pushes the frontier of his craft into the realm of art.
Jean-Luc Le Mounier’s work has been exhibited at Design Miami, PAD London, PAD Paris, PAD Genève, the Salon Art + Design in New York, the Berkeley Square/Mayfair Collectible in Brussels, and as a part of the AD Collections show at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. In 2017, Le Mounier was awarded the label of “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” by the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.