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13/09/2021

Studio LeR: Enamelled lava stone comes inside

Lava stone enamelling is the precious technique that LeR studio has chosen to form the heart of its practice between craftsmanship and design. A choice guided by a very personal story and by the “unalterable” decorative qualities of this material.

Founded in 2015 by Renato Richard and his wife Lydia Belghitar, the LeR studio combines two skills: stonecutting for Renato and design for Lydia, which worked alongside big names like Mathieu Lehanneur, Pierre Favresse or Jean-Paul Marzais.

Jessica Richard & Lydia Belghitar, Studio LeR

A promising context which will notably allow them to understand a very particular ancestral technique, that of lava enamelling. A little-known practice, but one of which the studio, now recomposed around Lydia and Jessica – Renato’s sister, who died in 2018 – has made its specialty.

“Lava enamelling is a know-how that is falling into disuse while it offers an unlimited field of applications”, explains Lydia, putting forward the figure of barely a hundred enamellers on lava in France today. A heartbreak when you know the qualities of this material. “In our business, it is often the qualifier ʺinalterableʺ that is used for enamelled lava. It is a material extremely resistant to extreme temperatures, scratches, acids. ”

Détail émaillage

Nevertheless, it is above all its decorative qualities that cause a sensation. Qualities to which the LeR studio brings its trademark by working on its unique geometric formats. “What fascinates us in the workshop is to create a dialogue between enamelled patterns and rough stone! “

Kitchen splashbacks and refined furniture

Even if the material remains the same, with this lava stone from Auvergne, Volvic, Mont Dore or Chambois, the LeR studio – itself located in Brittany – succeeds thanks to its double cap as a craftsman. and designer to work on a wide variety of projects. And if he shapes tiles for floors or kitchen backsplashes, he also designs very refined furniture for interior decoration, unique pieces produced to order with adapted patterns and colors.

His OKE top is one of the flagship pieces of his collections, where we also find table tops (like those made for the interior designer Tristan Auer), his famous TATO stool or the ICA light, created on measure barely a few weeks ago for the Amélie Maison d’Art gallery.

Plateau OKE, Studio LeR

As proof of its permanent research, the studio does not hesitate to match enamelled lava stone with other supports, materials… and craftsmen. “Lava is very readily associated with wood, for example” , Lydia continues. “We work locally with the cabinet-making workshop Koad Bras, which only works with solid wood from eco-managed forests.”

This collaboration is reflected in our furniture as in our ICA lighting for example. For one of the last coffee tables we made, the LIV table, we worked with an art metalworker for the base, the L’Enclumier workshop. “

Tabouret TATO, Studio LeR
Table LIV, Studio LeR

Technological anachronism

In fact, the work of the LeR studio is a skillful blend of tradition and technology, sometimes very modern. This is reflected, for example, in the production of 3D images of their small design office. ” When we work on furniture or space, 3D modeling is an essential communication tool to ensure a good understanding of the artistic direction of the project by the client and by the craftsmen with whom we collaborate ” , confirms Lydia.

“We also use digital tools during the enamelling itself, for example by making stencils and sandblasting masks using a cutting plotter. This anachronism between the digital tools we use and the know-how of enamelling on lava contributes to the contemporary and timeless side of our projects. “

Laurent Catala