Xiral Segard She tells us how she started from her kitchen, to create objects based on concrete, concentrating all her vitality and optimism in discovering new qualities and forms of this material, which surprise and attract us, as her lamp Gayalux.
How do you define your work?
My vision is tied to the material, particularly to the concrete, and because of it, all my work turns about this brute material. I think about the color, about the texture even before about the idea of the form. I like to take this material to its limit, to design objects that you do not expect that they can be worked in concrete.
How did you begin? Was it hard?
During my studies in the school of Applied Arts (DSAA Duperré), I began to investigate with the concrete. As in the kitchen, we change the ingredients, here we change the molds to obtain different objects. For my graduation, I realized a series of candle holder, Wall Of Fame, with differents textures with the molds that I had made and of specific concrete mixtures.
I wanted to continue with the development of objects in concrete because I was able to make by my own my tests, prototypes and my pieces in small series without a specific and without a studio (I started at my kitchen). In addition, I liked very much the idea of proposing decoration’s objects from a material not considered noble and so rejected by its heavy and gray aspect.
Have you ever discouraged?
Yes, very often. I take all the stages of the manufacture process, up to the diffusion, it is a long, difficult and sometimes ungrateful process. For every object, in the process between the idea and the finished product, there are many stages and difficulties to overcome, since sometimes it can take 2 years in order that a project becomes a reality, it is long and discouraging. But every time, I have overcome it, because I am of optimistic and persevering nature.
Which would be your ideal project? Do you have such one?
I do not have any. I advance day after day, with many dedication and without a specific ambition, but always with the idea to fulfill my aims, I never give up.
How your ideas come up? Which ones are your sources of inspiration? Are you influenced by anyone?
The idea comes sometimes for random, from something that I see, an exhibition, a painting, an article, a Chinese object I see in a market, a new material, nature, architecture ….There are too many sources of inspiration. I am very tied to my creation work, and because of it I always look round.
Have you ever had a mentor that has supported and guided you?
Which is the philosophy of your firm?
I believe that I do not have a company, my idea is to realize objects of good quality, made by craftsmen with which I can exchange opinions, and because of it, my objects are made of France.
What is beauty for you?
The simplicity, but simultaneously, the complexity of which one is not consciously?
Tell us how a normal day in your work is
I begin the day reading and answering my e-mails (press, appointments, manufacturers). The normal thing, is that I eat working in front of the computer. Then I deal with the projects that I have in process, work on a new range of color, look for new materials’ effects, or design. And also I prepare the orders to be sent. Also I am materials’ adviser, entrusted by several companies, so several days, I take part of the office life, I eat with my collegues, I take publlic transport and I go to meetings and exhibitions.
Which is the most difficult from your work?
To succeed in that the final object looks like the idea of beginning, in spite of the oppositions of the manufacture and its cost. The work with the manufacturers is essential, and to obtain what is wanted, is a long process, it is necessary be able to impose your ideas delicately.
Which is what you like more from your work?
The evolution of the projects, from the design up to the final product, seems to me that it is magic.
Which one has been your biggest success?
Till now, it has been the lamp Gayalux, which after 10 years it still continues pleasing, I have been able across this piece, to realize an object that does not go out of fashion with the time, can it be because it us resembles our beautiful and old land?