The craft of cabinetmaker is one that is passed down from one generation to the next. A prime example is Michel Jamet’s workshop in the heart of Montmartre in Paris. Opened in 1977, it specialises in the conservation and restoration of furniture and works of art, and Michel’s skills and knowledge of the profession have made him a pioneer in the field. In 2009, he handed his company to Alain Guéroult, who had been working with him for 18 years. Alain, named Maître d’art, is training his student Tristan Desforges, who has been at the workshop since 2011. Both have been named Meilleur Ouvrier de France. In 2020 Tristan will take over the business and this expertise and heritage will continue to flourish in the hands of another generation.Read the full interview
Returning a restored object is a pleasure for us, as it is for the person who entrusted it to us. Through our work, we share the sensitivity, history and life of people. It is a precious moment lived together that enriches the joy of working in our craft.How has learning your trade changed in recent years?
Learning our profession has evolved considerably. In the 1980s, training was done in workshops with masters. Today, it is essential to train in specific schools and, if possible, in a company to gain awareness of the reality of the profession. It helps to gain maturity and experience.
Tradition must be complemented by innovation. Our profession is not frozen in time and must be open to new research and knowledge. We are constantly looking for the latest publications or training offered by specialised institutions. We test the processes in real conditions and adapt them to our needs.Could your job be considered in danger?
Some aspects of our craft must be protected by passing on knowledge and skills; this can only be perpetuated by years spent in a workshop. Those of us who have had the chance to receive the technical training and values of the profession are now the custodians of an invaluable heritage.