Founder of Duvelleroy, Mayaro and Métiers Rares, Raphaëlle Le Baud is an expert in fine crafts. For over 15 years, she has gone in search of workshops, from masters of art to manufacturers, throughout France. Her experience working with luxury houses means she understands the issues that face creation, production, training and communication and as such, she implements methodologies to respond to them by drawing on the talent of craftspeople. In 2018, she created The Craft Project, the first podcast centred on fine crafts, a think-tank to question the future of fine crafts, involving conferences at the Boulle school, at HEC, at the CCI in Paris, publications and the engagement of a large community of enthusiasts on social networks. Raphaëlle Le Baud is a member of several juries in the design and crafts world, including Ecole Boulle, Ville de Paris, and Penninghen, amongst others.What does craftsmanship signify for you?
You can hear my personal definition of the métiers d’art in the introduction to each podcast. I passionately believe that "an artisan is a man or a woman who chooses to introduce new objects to the planet and who devotes mind, body and soul to this task, with skill and poetry.”How does it feature in your work and life?
The métiers d'art are part of my every day, as my job involves going into workshops and studios to source skills and creative capacities, as well as developing the means to provide solutions for luxury brands in terms of creation, prototyping, communication and training. Advocating craftspeople is a vocation, and the motivation behind The Craft Project and its podcasts.Do you have any stories about the artisans you have selected?
I saw Pierre Salagnac spend 300 hours over three weeks to sculpt his bronze Mayflor bonsai, guided by his complete and utter mastery of his craft and by the intimacy that he maintains with the metal. Lauren Collin carves paper with a scalpel inherited from her father, a dentist, and using colour skills learned from her mother, a decorative painter.How would you define excellence?
Irrespective of the material, the craft or where in the world, I consider excellence as tenacity in a technique and an aesthetic exploration. During the first edition of Homo Faber, I was moved to see the extent to which excellence expresses itself on a universal level through objects rendered unique by technique and poetry.