After graduating in bronze making in 2010 from École Boulle, she worked for several years in the workshop of the designer Van Der Straeten in Paris, focussing on furniture manufacturing in bronze. Whilst travelling for a year in Asia, she discovered ancient casting
techniques and was inspired by the materials used in this precious ancestral craft. She lives in Berlin, where her two-year collaboration with the designer Stefan Leo opened up doors to new techniques and materials.
In 2016 she set up Atelier Demichelis, creating entirely handmade contemporary lighting and furniture from bronze. Her unique creations are entirely handmade in her workshop in the heart of Toulouse and are all signed and numbered. Her inspirations stem from her travels, nature and the every day world that surrounds her.
Laura was born and grew up in Provence in the south of France.
Her degree show 'Dérive' won multiple national prizes and has been shown numerous times.
- What made you want to work in bronze?
I was already, from the beginning, more fascinated by metal than by wood, and I found in bronze very interesting creative possibilities, especially in terms of textures.
- What is special about bronze compared to other materials (iron, steel...)?
Its golden colour of course, I like the warmer and more noble side, but bronze is also a soft metal, which means that it can be shaped and deformed more easily. This leads to a closer relationship with the material, and more malleability in the work.
- How has your work evolved over the years? How do you think it will evolve in the future?
With each creation I have the impression of detaching myself a little more from the pure traditional technique that I learnt in school, to lean more towards freedom in my ideas. This passes more from a confidence in my choices, but also a need of postage and news in this job which doesn’t easily reinvent itself. In the future, I would love to continue exploring a personal language which is less dependent on the technical constraints of the foundations.
- What has inspired you most during your travels?
Nature and its surroundings, but also the capacity that the artisans have in Asia to make masterpieces with very little means. They have almost no creative limit or technique because of a large worry behind what it is to be living in a family. I often tell myself this, but in Europe everything is possible. It gets rid of a lot of my worries.
- With regards to your signature and numbering of your pieces, is there a desire to affirm that these are works of art, opposed to furniture that we could find elsewhere?
Of course, these are functional works of art. I like the idea of having the power to establish a more intimate power, of touching, of light, of using from a building which is also ‘part of the family’. They become living, shining a light on the everyday.
- What can a female bronze artist bring to this historically masculine job?
I certainly bring my femininity into the creation, but honestly this job asks for something more than softness, of a sensuality and finesse that in which a man or a woman can exercise. Bronze is a delicate material in all hands!