Preserving Craftsmanship: Frédéric Hamel’s Journey in Cabinet Making
“Being in close proximity to the excellence of French craftsmanship pushes you to excel, to be impeccable in your field, and to convey the details, because it is the details that make your creation exceptional or not.”
In the bustling world of modern industries, where technology often takes center stage, there exists a realm where traditional craftsmanship not only survives but thrives. At Ateliers SP founded by Sputnik Partners, we take pride in supporting artisans like Frédéric Hamel, whose dedication to the art of cabinet-making exemplifies a commitment to preserving heritage skills and fostering social values in the business world.
Frédéric’s journey began after high school when he enrolled in the prestigious Ecole Boulle, embarking on a two-year program in cabinet-making. His passion for wood and craftsmanship led him to the marquetry workshop under the guidance of Mr. Ramond, where he honed his skills for four more years. This educational odyssey culminated in a Diploma in Art Crafts with a specialization in marquetry.
Frédéric says that his artistic calling took root at a young age. Gifted a workbench and tools at just nine years old, he discovered his love for working with wood. This childhood fascination blossomed into a lifelong pursuit, shaping the trajectory of his career.
His formative years at the Ecole Boulle and as a Master of Art student were marked by influential mentors. Mr. Ramond instilled precision and meticulousness in marquetry, sharing his passion for the craft. Under the guidance of Master Craftsman Mr. Meyer, Frédéric delved into turning and particularly guilloché turning, cultivating a unique style defined by high-precision mechanical work reminiscent of fine jewelry but applied to wood.
Frédéric’s style is distinguished, he employs a variety of materials, including wood, mother-of-pearl, shagreen and straw, resulting in creations that bridge the worlds of craftsmanship and artistry.
We asked Frédéric what sets him apart from other artisans? His meticulous attention to proportion and an unwavering pursuit of the limits that materials can accept. It is the intricate detail that transforms his creations into exceptional pieces of functional art.
Frédéric’s journey intersects with the Grand Ateliers de France, a large family of diverse crafts where quality is paramount. For three years, he has served as the treasurer of the association, immersing himself in an environment that continually pushes him to achieve excellence. Frédéric’s collaboration with Sputnik Partners began through a project initiated by Elise Blouet-Ménard. Introduced to Ateliers SP, Frédéric joined it to alleviate administrative burdens, allowing him to dedicate more time to his artistic and artisanal pursuits. Through this collaboration, Frédéric moved to a larger, brighter workshop in the countryside of Normandy. This support provides him with the space to work more comfortably and fosters an environment conducive to further developing his creative spirit.
Frédéric’s collaboration with Ateliers SP and Sputnik Partners aligns seamlessly with his long-term goals. Through the Grand Ateliers of France, he secured a collaboration with Maison Martell, creating a stunning wooden and leather backpack for a cognac project. Another masterpiece, Dune box, has been exhibited in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This collaboration not only showcased Frédéric’s skills but also demonstrated the potential for innovative partnerships within the realm of traditional craftsmanship.
In supporting artisans like Frédéric Hamel, Sputnik Partners through Ateliers SP continues to champion the preservation of traditional craftsmanship, contributing to a harmonious integration of art and business in the contemporary world.