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© Sophie Zénon pour la Fondation Bettencourt Schueller
© Sophie Zénon pour la Fondation Bettencourt Schueller
© Julian Schwarz
© Sophie Zénon pour la Fondation Bettencourt Schueller
© Sophie Zénon pour la Fondation Bettencourt Schueller

Julian Schwarz

  • Wood sculptor
  • Autun, France
  • Master Artisan
Julian Schwarz Wood sculptor
© Sophie Zénon pour la Fondation Bettencourt Schueller

An English sculptor in France

  • • Julian makes his sculptures by hand using traditional tools
  • • He often uses locally-sourced green wood
  • • He won the Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l'intelligence de la main in 2010

British artisan Julian Schwarz studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, specialising in sculpture. After a number of years working in his studio in London, he chose to move to his wife’s native country, France. Interested in traditional tools and techniques, he makes his sculptures entirely by hand, without machines, “not really to be curious and old fashioned, I just prefer simple, sharp, professional carpentry tools,” he says. Using traditional hand tools certainly takes longer, but he sees that as “a benefit, not a hardship – and it’s interesting”. Another characteristic of his work is that he never uses sandpaper – if you look closely at his work, chisel marks are apparent.

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  • © Julian Schwarz
  • © Julian Schwarz
  • © Julian Schwarz
Photo: © Julian Schwarz
Bow Tie Bowl

When Julian first started to work with this walnut block, it already had a natural split. While this posed no immediate risk to the piece, he decided to use a dovetail key in the opposite side to support it. As the surface of the piece is curved, a number of test pieces were needed to insure the bow tie locks were tight and neat.

Length 27 cm
Width 48 cm
Height 46 cm

Photo: © Julian Schwarz
Colour Screen

This is a study or test piece. While Julian is not entirely convinced by it, he feels this new departure is nevertheless a valid approach. For several years now, he has felt pushed towards a different form, away from vessel containers. “But have I found a new route? This is why being an artist is tiring.”

Length 18 cm
Width 18 cm
Height 18 cm

Photo: © Julian Schwarz
Tall Wavy Oak I

Normally the openings of vessels correspond to the lengthwise division of the trunk (as with a dugout canoe), but here, Julian takes a different approach. To carve the deep, narrow interior Julian used old lathe turning chisels, having re-ground the cutting edge.

Length 50 cm
Width 82 cm
Height 26 cm

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