Photographer NICOLAS GUILLON
@ Backstage agency
Thierry Courtadon was born in the cradle of the volcanoes of a long line of stonemasons. From an early age, he was attracted by the subtle and strong energy of this Volvic stone, trachy-andesite. Fascinated by its light from light gray to darker gray, he followed his father and grandfather into their workshop.
His hands quickly became acquainted with this noble material and he wanted to reveal its movement beyond the traditional sculptures made for funeral monuments and cut stone houses. At a very young age, his creative spirit vibrated in unison with this lava frozen in its immortality. He wanted to bring it back to life in free and yet perfectly mastered forms.
He went to Lyon to attend his school of Fine Arts even if, at first sight, his family saw neither the interest nor the usefulness. From a craftsman, he became an artist and achieved his goal of giving back to this so dense rock all its lightness and transparency. Thierry Courtadon thus perfected his lace technique in spite of the resistance that the will of the stone opposed him, breaking when he had not been able to convince it.
He listens to this rock with his fingertips, caresses it, probes it as the gemmologist does with a diamond to understand its structure and vibration beyond its rough aspect. Then he arms himself with talent and patience to shape it, to lead it to the work he has imagined.
His workshop today is overwhelmed by orders from all over the world. Thierry Courtadon draws and prepares stone models that his workers then reproduce by hand. It is no longer the time to prepare stone blocks for masons because the material has become too precious to make whole houses. The objects of interior and exterior decoration range from the engraved "kube" and ashtray to the bathtub, table or bench. The art of the table is also present in this collection to accompany the pure lines of a great modernity.
Traditional or imaginative, the creations of his workshop are born from his inspiration, from emotions to the rhythm of his destiny. Thierry Courtadon always wishes to reinvent himself out of a fierce fear of lassitude. He likes to push back the limits of his creativity in order to discover as yet unknown territories.
His lace technique has allowed him to engrave words that take strength and immortality by feeding on the fire that still burns in the memory of this volcanic rock.
Today, not content to satisfy the numerous requests, Thierry Courtadon is working on a monumental exhibition at the top of the Puy de Dôme. His pieces will come to crown the volcano in a majestic scenography facing the horizon and resting on the ground that gave them life.
A true honor for this "child of stone", this event pays tribute to the authentic beauty of this magnificent land of Auvergne and the infinite power of its volcanoes.