Gérald Vatrin

Glass Sculptor

Gérald Vatrin is one of the best European master artisans dedicated to glass sculpture and glassblowing. Glass is his main means of expressing himself. He enhances it through engravings, pigments and effects of transparency. His vibrant and delicate work, inspired by shapes in nature and his travels, is imbued with emotions. Each piece of art opens up a world of visual and tactile sensations. His glass sculptures are made with hand blown and hand shaped glass which is then carved and decorated with tunnels of braided leather.

Gérald Vatrin’s work has been rewarded many times, including with the Médaille d’Etain from the Academic Society for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities in Paris in 2015 and with the Grand Prix from the city of Paris in 2001.

Gérald Vatrin’s works entered into the permanent collections of several museums and prestigious institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Dutch National Glass Museum in Leerdam in the Netherlands and the Glass Museum in Sars-Poterie in France.

maison parisienne is pleased to announce that Gérald Vatrin has been selected by the MAD-Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris to participate in the exhibition “Un Printemps Incertain” from November 18, 2020 to May 11, 2021. His artwork Emme Ya will be exhibited in the permanent collections of the museum as part of this special art show, designed as a retrospective of the very uncertain spring that artists and creators lived in early 2020.

Glass Sculptor

“What I love in my job as a glass-blower is that moment when I manipulate incandescent material… After so many years, it is still a source of satisfaction for me, as well as the fact that it all starts with something as gooey as honey, that finally turns out solid, transparent, luminous and with a shape that has been carefully determined and controlled. For me, it’s a moment of grace — a symbiosis between the material and my own sweat.”

Initially trained as a graphic designer, Gérald Vatrin graduated from the Beaux-Arts national school of fine arts in Epinal, France, before training in glass arts and techniques and specializing in freehand glassblowing.

It’s pretty clear that there’s something to be found between the crystal manufactures of Saint-Louis and Baccarat, that inspired Gérald Vatrin, who was born and raised in Nancy, the historic cradle of glasswork and crystal making. One of the best European master artisans dedicated to glass sculpture and glassblowing, Gérald Vatrin represents the renewal of French glasswork. His vibrant sculptures are inspired by his personal history. Imbued with emotions, they are the result of his training, his artistic growth but also the many cultures that he encountered as a world traveler, from Africa to Australia to North America… He blows a simple shape, using the malleability of the material when it’s molten. Then comes the task of magnifying the material through engraving, enameling, removing or cutting through glass, adding pigments or a couture dimension with plaited leather hemming the stunning tunnels he calls passages.

His sculptures are made with hand blown and hand shaped glass which is afterwards carved and decorated with leather. Chiseled fruit or unknown planet, each artwork creates a dazzling glass microcosm, an open window on a world of visual and tactile sensations. They all explore new and different universes, vegetal or tribal, latticed like lace or bitten by frost, here resembling leather, there looking like lava stone.

La Promenade du Collectionneur, an exhibition by maison parisienne – private apartment, Paris, 2020 © maison parisienne

Gerald Vatrin participated in several exceptional exhibitions, in the Grand Palais in Paris, in Europe, in the United States, in Japan, in China…

Rewarded

Gérald Vatrin’s work was awarded many distinctions throughout his career, including:

the Maison & Objet prize, in 1999
the Grand Prix de la Création from the council of Paris, in 2001
the Young Creators Prize from Ateliers d’Art de France, in 2003
the Médaille d’Etain from the Arts-Sciences-Lettres academic society of the city of Paris, to honor his career achievements, in 2015
the Prix Régional – Grand Est, from Ateliers d’Art de France, in 2017

Gérald Vatrin, A Graphic Collection in Black and White

maison parisienne is pleased to present a graphic selection of unique artworks by Gérald Vatrin. Mat or transparent, this collection of multi-textured sculptures shows mesmerizing geometric shapes, more or less round, more or less oblong, all displaying a different interplay of light and shade.

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Quasar” — 17,5 x 28,5 x 28,5 cm, transparent engraved blown glass, frost pattern, mother of pearl plaited leather, 2020 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Divine Proportion III” — 36 x 30 x 12 cm, translucent black glass, engraved and enameled in black, white plaited leather, 2018 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Divine Proportion IV” — 35,5 x 36 x 10 cm, transparent blown glass, enameled in black, partial frost pattern, bronze plaited leather, 2019 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Divine Proportion IV” — 16 x 33 x 32 cm, transparent blown glass, engraved and enameled in black, white plaited leather 2017 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Hale Bopp” — 29 x 35,5 x 23 cm, transparent blown glass, engraved and enameled in black, ivory plaited leather, 2019 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Couture VIII” — 30 x 29 x 20 cm, transparent blown glass, engraved and enameled in black and white, black and white plaited leather, 2013 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin in the MAD-Museum of Decorative Arts of Paris, in 2020

Gérald Vatrin will participate in Un Printemps Incertain, an exhibition curated by the MAD-Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Paris. Inspired by a quote from Virginia Woolf’s book The Years, “it was an uncertain spring,” the MAD invited creators and designers to testify about their own experience of the spring 2020, bearing witness of this singular and tentative moment that was as disquieting as it was creative. Gérald Vatrin’s artwork Emme Ya, as well as Black Shudder by Julien Vermeulen and the other artworks selected by the museum, will be exhibited within the permanent collections of the modern and contemporary galleries.

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Emme Ya” — 22 x 36 x 28,5 cm, opaque black blown glass, engraved and enameled in sand, red plaited leather, 2020 © maison parisienne

maison parisienne is proud to announce that simultaneously to this retrospective exhibition on the lockdown in the spring of 2020, the MAD-Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris has acquired Gérald Vatrin’s artwork Trait d’Union, for its national collections!

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Trait d’Union” — 29 x 30 x 36 cm, olive-colored blown glass, engraved, partial frost pattern, black plaited leather, 2018 — a MAD-Musée des Arts Décoratifs acquisition, Paris, 2020 © maison parisienne

Public Collections

In 2018, in the aftermath of Collect Art Fair in Somerset House, London, maison parisienne was pleased to have Gérald Vatrin’s artwork Le Seuil acquired by the V&A — Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

  • blown glass sculpture “Le Seuil” 2018 — a V&A Victoria and Albert Museum acquisition, London, 2018 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin’s sculptures are also part of numerous prestigious public collections in France, in Europe and across the globe such as the Dutch National Glass Museum of Leerdam in the Netherlands or the Contemporary Art Museum of L’viv in Ukraine.

  • blown glass sculpture “Divine Proportion” 2018 — a Utatsuyama Craft Workshop acquisition for the Museum of Traditional Craft, Kanazawa, Japan, 2020 © maison parisienne
  • blown glass sculpture “Sébé” 2009 — a Glass Museum acquisition, Carmaux, France, 2018 © maison parisienne
  • blown glass sculpture “Passage V” 2015 — a Musée du Verre du Bois de Cazier acquisition, Charleroi, Belgium, 2016 © maison parisienne
  • blown glass sculpture “Couture VI” 2013 — a Liuli China Museum acquisition, Shanghai, China, 2015 © maison parisienne
  • blown glass sculpture “Marqueterie I” 2014 — a Glazen Huis, Glass Museum, acquisition, Lommel, Belgium, 2015 © maison parisienne
  • blown glass sculpture “Wôlo” 2009 — a MusVerre acquisition, Glass Museum, Sars-Poterie, France, 2013 © maison parisienne
  • blown glass sculpture “Africa IV” 2005 — a Museums Vledder acquisition, Netherlands, 2006 © maison parisienne

A Prestigious Private Collection

Gérad Vatrin’s artworks entered many prestigious private collections, including those of Ernsting Stiftung Foundation in Alter Hof Herding, Germany.

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Couture V”, 2012 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Les Hérons”, 2005 © maison parisienne

Gérald Vatrin, Exceptional Collaborations


Throughout his career, Gérald Vatrin participated in many joint projects for stunning collaborations.

In 2020, Gérald Vatrin collaborated with CERFAV (European Center for Research and Training in Glass Arts) on the restoration of Villa Majorelle à Nancy, a stunning example of art deco architecture. Gérald Vatrin restored eight luminaires, globe and trough lamps.

In 2011, Gérald Vatrin collaborated with French artist Frédérique Nalbandian on the creation of a spectacular installation for which he made 30 concrete buckets in blown glass as part of the A Ciel Ouvert festival in Béthune, France.

In 2005, Gérald Vatrin collaborated with Jean-Michel Othoniel and Condé School of Design and Graphic Arts, on the “Le Petit Théâtre de Peau d’Ane” installation, working in the famous glass workshops of Sars-Poterie, France. This installation, inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, presented four tableaux in blown glass, lacquered wood, lacework and embroidered silks – “La Table du Monstrueux” (the Table of the Monsters), “La table du Temps” (the Table of Time), “La Table du Soleil” (the Table of the Sun) and “La Table de la Lune” (the Table of the Moon).

Upcoming News

Gérald Vatrin is currently collaborating with French crystal manufacturer DAUM on the creation of a limited edition of one of his artworks, in glass paste — expected for early 2021!

In 2021, Gérald Vatrin will also complete an art residency in the traditional craft workshop Utatsuyama Kogei Kobo in Japan, as part of a sister-city initiative between Nancy, France and Kanazawa, Japan.

BIRFINI + DIVINE PROPORTION III

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculptures “Divine Proportion III” — 36 x 30 x 12 cm, black translucent blown glass, engraved and enameled in black, white plaited leather, 2018 and “Birfini II” — 47 x 21 x 14 cm, red blown glass, engraved and enameled in black and white, amulets, 2012 © maison parisienne

In the meantime, Gérald Vatrin’s latest creations will be exhibited by maison parisienne in its next Online Viewing Room. Stay tuned!

Gérald Vatrin, blown glass sculpture “Birfini II” — 47 x 21 x 14 cm, red blown glass, engraved and enameled in black and white, amulets, 2012 © maison parisienne