Technique & Substance

The Designs of Line Vautrin

The subtle playfulness of Line Vautrin’s designs combine a delightful melding of delicate forms and varied mediums. An artist, business woman, and innovator, she charted her own path and left a lasting impression on the jewelry and decorative arts worlds. 

Born in 1913, Line Vautrin, learned at a very young age the techniques of metalworking in her families’ foundry. She mastered the techniques of casting, gilding and chasing bronze, which became her metal of choice; her works in bronze featuring a tactile and hand-worked quality. She was curious by nature and fascinated by ancient cultures. A trip to Egypt allowed her to study ancient techniques of metalsmithing. She also became interested in hieroglyphics and pictograms, incorporating symbolic representations and rebus puzzles in a whimsical way into her objet d'art and jewelry. 

Line Vautrin was very much ahead of her time, and a self-made woman. As she became more established and recognized in her medium, Vautrin began to experiment with a synthetic resin that came onto the market just towards the end of World War II. She dubbed the material Talosel — an acronym fused between “acetate de cellulose elaboré” — a very clever adaptation that she patented in the 1960s. The tactile quality, lightness and malleable property of the substance allowed varied outcomes so that the final product could appear similar to slate, bone, wood, or have a shimmering effect. With artistic prowess, Line Vautrin used talosel on lamp bases, furniture, boxes, mirrors and jewelry, each piece assembled by hand and decorated using various techniques of abrasion, heating, scoring, fragmentation, to create unique and stunning pieces of wearable art and functional design.