Every year, four or five pieces of furniture leave Daniel Clément’s workshop. It takes the artist about 700 hours to craft each new piece, which is studded with images and decorative ornaments, using the technique of “glass marquetry”. Clément’s marquetry is made up of painted and mirrored glass fragments, which cover the entire visible surface of the item of furniture. He cuts each fragment by hand from new sheets of white glass, painting them one by one from behind – having first scattered the whole surface with multi-coloured glitter. This gives the finished object its iridescent effect. Daniel Clément turns rough-hewn furniture into designer pieces.
Clément cuts the fragments of glass and mirrors into geometrical shapes (irregular quadrangles, circular arcs, triangles, arrowheads, leaf-shaped ellipses) and assembles them with precision on the plane surfaces of his furniture. Whenever a piece of furniture has a rounded or angular form (curvatures, notches, profiles), the edges of all the glass fragments are polished before being applied, so that they are pleasantly smooth to the touch. Each work has 3,800 to 4,200 of such glass pieces per square metre. Smaller objects such as humidors, which he exclusively makes for the luxury goods group Davidoff, have a coloured and reflective surface composed of 600 to 800 fragments. When a piece leaves Clément’s workshop in Normandy, it is wrapped in a glowing shell, which may be discreet or evocative – but always vibrant and artistic.
A cabinetmaker makes the furniture from sketches drawn by Clément. The rough frames are made of multi-layer plywood and MDF. This multi-bonded and highly compressed wood cannot change shape, and prevents any subsequent cracks from appearing in the glass surface. As the materials are climate-resistant, the mechanical components are guaranteed to function even in the case of intensive and prolonged use.