Did you learn with someone or are you self-taught?
I don’t know anyone who is 100 percent self-taught. I didn't go to a school, but various encounters have influenced me. I trained a little with the designer Serge Mouille, for example. I think you are never alone in this craft, even if it feels so sometimes, because there are always references to draw upon.
What inspires you?
Emotional memories. For example, I was lucky enough to go to Syria aged 15 and see the archaeological site of Palmyra, which I found amazing. When I saw a photo of the recent destruction of the site it brought back that emotion and I wanted to work with it. More and more I am guided by my emotions.
© Hervé Wahlen
What was the first object you made?
It was a small piece of hammered brass on which I had to add a very complicated decoration. I didn’t know how to divide the pattern in a precise manner. Suddenly, and quite by chance, my tool slipped and the trace it left was the exact division I was looking for.
What surprises people about your pieces?
Generally, people don't know what a piece has gone through to reach its final form. Perhaps a week after starting, the piece might be upside down or cut in half, which wasn't planned from the start. People are surprised that at the end the piece isn't what I originally thought it would be.