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The roots of the « Âmes imaginaires » ®

■  The roots of the « Âmes imaginaires » ®

I was born in 1961 and grew up in the west of France, in Pornic and then in Nantes. After my father passed away in my 5th year, as the eldest of 3 children, I have been doing my best to assist my mother. As far as I remember, the main feeling I recall from my childhood is a kind of graveness. I was a rather calm and solitary child. More than in the games of my age, I expended most of my energy into the creation of tiny objects from second hand bits and pieces.

In that way, as I went discovered, I tested numerous materials with a steady patience and tenacity, that suprised those around me. Facing the challenges along the way, I adjusted my course to find solutions until I felt an inner satisfaction that let me know I had accomplished what I desired.


Scrutinizing, splitting things up into parts, reconstructing – these were my true pleasure, creating anew my way of being. Even though I particularly appreciated drawing and painting (with the omnipresence of colours), I experienced much greater jubilation when I was able to create three dimensional objects. During secondary school, my teacher allies let me take clay home and bring it back for firing and enamelling. In this way, I created nativity figures and a variety of chess pieces. Later on, I tested more pliable and tinted modelling clays, that allowed for more refined creations, which, in addition to achieving greater precision in three dimensions, combined  uniform colour and marbled effects. In that way, decanter nuts and other objects in the shape of imaginary figures were born.

I investigated working with fabrics, through the reconstruction of my own clothes. As a teenager, I was already skilled enough in sewing for making my own garments (with special attention to texture). Gradually, I became interested in the construction of period costumes, and I created sophisticated ones for my children that were similar to genuine stage costume.

This underground life was kept secret for a long time, as, in parallel, I had built a much more classic public life. After my secondary school diploma in literature and a vocational training certificate, I was ready for a professional career in the adult world. And this is how, for 23 years, I made my way into the international trade of industrial products in Nantes and then in Paris.

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The emergence of my own business

The idea of mixed media sculpture (involving modelling, painting and fabric work) started to emerge in my mind in 2002. At that time, motivated to learn to build jointed body characters, I took several steps to deepen my knowledge and attended some training sessions :

  • With Ava Petrova, an already old artist from Czech republic, I learnt the traditional assembly of hollow parts,
  • With the Armenian sculptor Arestakes Nevcheherlian, I refined the modelling of facial expressions,
  • With Helene Leroux in Ariège, I studied the nonreversible joints and the free flow motions of professional string puppets,
  • In a master class given by Marlaine Verhelst, a famous Dutch doll artist, I learnt how to build doll bodies with iron frames.

Finally, I was generously welcomed by the Resource Centre of the “Institut International de la Marionnette “  of Charleville-Mézières for a week’s research into their considerable collection of books dedicated to the professional puppetry world - a treasure of  technical richness and a diverse opening onto the imaginary worlds that I had not met when I was a child.

The catalyst occured in 2004. Laid off by the company that was employing me,  I decided to give light to the underground life that had always been a part of my inner landscape since ever by creating my own independent artistic activity.

My creations are of various types :  jointed sculpted characters designed in the spirit of moving professional puppets, fixed figures using the building techniques of doll artists and partial figures in the form of dressed busts. They are all one-of-a-kind pieces created without the use of any mould. They most often come from my imagination and leave an impression of powerful presence on the visitors.

The brand “Âmes imaginaires” (litterally imaginary souls) was registered. in 2006.

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■ The “Âmes imaginaires”® comes to light

Exhibitions and other events are important times for sharing that culminate the pleasure of creating. For interested visitors, I propose live demonstration sessions to illustrate some highlights in the building stages of a new  “Âme” (soul).





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■    The emergence of my own business


The “Âmes imaginaires”® comes to light