Were you fond of astronomy as a child?
Not particularly! For both my father and me, building an orrery is above all a complex engineering challenge. Our works are made on several axes, which allows the movement of the planets. I also studied engineering, seeing my father at work, it became normal to challenge myself.
Who are your customers?
Ours is a niche market, but there are collectors, especially in the United States. Then there are some museums, university professors, astronomy enthusiasts willing to wait two years to get an orrery. This is our waiting list… For a small orrery it takes three months, for a large one even more than six months.
MKesseler © MFO
What is the most exciting moment of your work?
When the customer calls us to inform us that his orrery has arrived safe and sound. This means that the time has come for us to dedicate ourselves to a new job. Studying the design of a new object is certainly the part I love most about my job.
How endangered is your craft?
There are only five of us in the world who build orreries. One day I would like to pass on this savoir-faire, who knows maybe to my grandchildren. With dad, we helped my son build a very simplified orrery for his school science class. He did very well.