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Spotlight on the maker:
Neil Lemaire
Neil Lemaire

Neil Lemaire is a bronze and fine artist whose work explores the connections between organic processes and engineering. Using the ancient Lost Wax casting method, Neil handcrafts unique and exquisite vessels, bowls and sculptures in solid bronze that function as contemporary art and living artefacts. These beautiful pieces can be loved for a lifetime and cherished as family heirlooms. Neil kindly spoke to us about his work and the inspiration behind it.

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Neil in his studio and foundry in London

Where does your passion for making your pieces come from?

Years of casting bronze in high profile Bronze foundries in London. Turning the skills I learned on the job into exclusive objects for the home. I wanted to take the often conceptually, inaccessible, fine art world, into the average home. And mix functionality with decorational, artistic pieces.

Were you always interested in creating things as a child?

I have been making since I was 8 years old. I always knew I would be an artist or creator of some kind.

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'Surface Tension' Viscosity Globe Vessel

How did you start your business?

I studied all arts based subjects throughout my education, from Photography and ceramics to blacksmithing and welding. I focussed on sculpture at degree level and took a job in a bronze foundry after graduation. Unfortunately it kept me behind the scenes for too long so I became more of a technician than an exhibiting artist. I worked on some very famous pieces by some very high profile artists which helped to hone the skills I have now. After opening my own studio and creating my own foundry, to provide a casting service for clients, I have been able to put a large focus on my own work. I get to explore all the ideas that have germinated over the past 22 years and I am now in full flow of production, an honour that has required a lot of sacrifice to earn.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your creations?

The pieces are highly process driven. I try to allow the casting process to show through, quite similarly to abstract expressionist painting and Vitalist Sculptors from the 1950’s and 60’s. A major element of my focus is the solidification of liquid materials into hard materials. I like to show this interface between hard and soft, which is so often found in ancient, geological phenomena. This freezing of liquids can often depict violent movements like lava flows, delicate manifestations like bubbles, or gradual depositions of sedimentary layers.

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'Aqua' Viscosity Globe Bowl

What is your favourite part of the making process?

The final finishing called Patination. The mysterious way that chemicals react with metals.

Is there any specific part you enjoy the most or do you enjoy the overall process as a whole?

All parts of the process interest me, but I am adding new processes all the time. Looking at ancient techniques, from the Neolithic Age, through to modern technology like 3D printing and welding.

'Aqua' Liquid Spirit Bronze Vessel

Do you have any particular design heroes or other makers your work has been influenced by?

Nicola Hicks, Anish Kapoor, Henry Moore and Thomas Heatherwick.

Any upcoming projects or pieces you’re working on that you’d like to tell us about?

Solid bronze wash basin/sink, bronze chess set, door handles, bells, freestanding lamps, vases and bottles.

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'Aqua Glow' Liquid Spirit Bronze Vessel

Anything else you’d like us to mention?

I am very interested in taking commissions. And can make large scale designs to fit directly into the home. I also work in other materials like plaster, resin and a new exciting material called Jesmonite.

We’re delighted to have you on board with AUTHOR. How do you feel about working with us?

Due to the Corona Virus, we have been slowed down a little bit but Author are still focussed on providing a service which shows dedication and forward thinking. This will enable us to hit the ground running when the time comes. I am so excited to see my conceptions being released into the world, and the enjoyment I am hoping that people will get out of my artefacts.

Shop Neil’s pieces:

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Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a bespoke design by Neil.

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About the Author

jane

Written by Jane Adams, founder of Author Interiors. LinkedIn:

Read more about her here.

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