Parisian lighting designer Alain Ellouz knows a thing or two about beautiful ambiance. The hand-crafted lighting fixtures that Ellouz designs are truly works of art; they are usually made from alabaster, Ellouz’s material of choice. The way he bends this precious stone in complicated and unique ways is a true testament to his artistry and craftsmanship.
For the past 15 years, Ellouz has spent his career making “light out of stone”. With a team of designers and sculptors, Atelier Alain Ellouz’s projects are both complex and simple, large and small, and almost always heavy. The studio in Versailles is home to an amazing variety of pieces which all tell the story of alabaster.
The projects all emulate a sense of airiness and are all completely hand-made so that they fully showcase alabaster in its truest form. Alabaster is both fragile and malleable which is why Atelier Alain Ellouz is one of the only studios to work solely with it.
For the first two years after founding Atelier Alain Ellouz, time was dedicated toward engineering a technique which would make alabaster as strong as granite, while maintaining the stone’s natural qualities. The treatment the atelier created is called Stonelight, an invisible “armor coat” that is applied directly to the stone. The coating leaves a velour touch after application.
Ellouz says that one of his most important projects is the gemstones for the jeweler Chaumet (at their Maison Place Vendome store). The pieces seamlessly combine design with sculpture. Each alabaster “gemstone” weighs close to 120 kilograms… and looks as though it is floating in air. The Gemstones are displayed alongside alabaster panels which are engraved in gold.
Working alongside Chaumet enabled Atelier Alain Ellouz to experiment with a new technique of alabaster engraving. The longtime collaboration between the atelier and Chaumet, in part because they both always look for the best possible craftsmen. Patricia Grosdemange, LVMH artistic director and designer has always appreciated Atelier Alain Ellouz’s craftsmanship. Luckily, Grosdemange has been amazing about offering the atelier a “playground” in which to experiment.
Lighting, bespoke projects, and furniture are the three axes through with the atelier showcases the value of alabaster. We especially love the Alabaster Blinds because they show the outer limits of the stone’s properties. The atelier strengthened the medium before they began… sculpting it like an aircraft wing. This new and light shape brings “life, lightness, and mobility into alabaster.”
Another one of our favorites is the Bolky Chandelier. This collection hangs in bundles of either three, five, or nine spheres. Architecturally, these bundles form a variety of arrangements which are all stunning!