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© M.Denekre
© J.L Maby
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© Hervé Wahlen

Hervé Wahlen

Hervé Wahlen Metalworker
© All rights reserved

Expressing his emotions in copper

  • • Hervé is a master of dinanderie, shaping copper by hand
  • • Copper reminds him of Algeria, where he was born
  • • He likes to 'send down the elevator' to others by passing on his knowledge

Hervé Wahlen experimented with multiple techniques and materials before realising that one material had always accompanied him on this journey: copper. Along the way, Hervé developed a particular interest in engraving copper plates for printing. However, while he felt copper was the ideal material for him, he did not feel fully satisfied with engraving. Then, while undertaking evening courses in Paris he chanced upon the craft of shaping copper and brass sheets by hand. Before the end of the course, Hervé had decided to dedicate himself to this.

Read the full interview


  • © JL Maby
  • © JL Maby
  • © JL Maby
  • © M Giraud
  • © E Lassalle
Photo: © JL Maby
Between Heaven and Earth

Hervé’s intention was to create an outer shape that would convey a sense of emptiness and an inner space independent of external volume. These two opposing forms create a balance. The metal sculpture was crafted from a single piece of hand-hammered brass and finished with a patina, gold leaf and a metal counterweight inside to ensure stability.

Length 29 cm
Width 21 cm
Height 42 cm

Photo: © JL Maby

The uterus and birth are recurrent themes in Hervé’s works; in this sculpture they are expressed in a simple, direct fashion. The piece was crafted from connected pieces of hand-hammered brass. The exterior was finished with a patina and the interior with gold leaf. A metal counterweight was placed inside to ensure stability.

Length 24 cm
Width 23 cm
Height 51 cm

Photo: © JL Maby

The notion and study of space are central to Hervé’s work. This piece contains two small compartments that cannot be detached from the outer structure but can be accessed by two separate movements. The design is a allegory for the contrast between internal and external spaces.

Height 69 cm
Width 29 cm
Length 24 cm

Photo: © M Giraud

Two copper cylinders, partly gilded and partly decorated with a reddish-brown patina, are fixed together. One of the cylinders pivots to reveal a central cone resembling a nightlight or a torch.

Height 80 cm
Width 27 cm
Length 27 cm

Photo: © E Lassalle

The improbable balance of “Rêverie” was achieved by placing weights in the space between the hand-hammered sheets of metal. With a brown patina on the exterior and white gold leaf on the inner surface, the sculpture exemplifies Hervé’s philosophy of applying his techniques to creating shapes drawn from his imagination.

Length 39 cm
Width 41 cm
Height 40 cm

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