(CV at bottom)
Michèle Jacques (aka Michl)
A Bit About Michl
Michl has always been interested in shapes and forms, colours and textures, especially when found in nature. She started drawing at a young age and with the encouragement of her favourite art teacher, began working with woodcuts, and other graphic mediums. She has worked a great deal with silk-screening and has produced a large number of concert posters, stamps and clothing through out the years.
Michl went to England in 2000 to finish off schooling and study Archaeology and Ancient History in Cardiff for three years. In 2003, she returned to Berlin, where she continued her studies. In 2004, frustrated by the German education-system, feeling an urgent need to be creative and to use her hands again, she changed her line of education to become a blacksmith. Michl has never regretted this decision. Here she learnt to work with all sorts of metals and alloys, from small to enormous in size, with both modern and classical smithing techniques. Working as an apprentice for 4 years in different blacksmith workshops gave her hands on expertise. She took part in a lot of restoration-work, which was especially interesting for Michl and her perfectionist streak. Restoring the soul and the historical value of a piece, is an art rarely taught anymore in our time. In regards to metalwork, this is an art-form, Michl takes very much to heart.
After her blacksmith apprenticeship, Michl was offered a job at a carpentry / furniture workshop. Wood interested her and she saw this as an opportunity to learn how to work with it, as well as increase her creative abilities, combining this naturally grown medium and metal. Here she worked and built furniture for the next 3½ years.
The urge to work with metal, to get dirty with coal and metal-dust, took over again. Michl decided to leave Berlin, where it was virtually impossible to have her own blacksmith workshop. With an offer to come to Bornholm to start a business in the spring of 2012, she decided to move to the Baltic island. Here she would have the room for a workshop of her own and to nurture her creative sides once more. Together with her friend Maya, and new colleague Jens Borup, they opened up the Art Box Bornholm. Here she learnt to be a picture framer, and once again, her perfectionism and artistic sides are much needed and appreciated.
Michl still hasn't gotten her blacksmith workshop up and running, but hopes it will come soon. In the mean time, she enjoys making woodcut prints and stamps from rubber. She also likes to draw, and to sew and, as she says: 'to point out the everyday-weirdness' in her surrounding.' She also admits that she could have been a great clockmaker, with her over the top perfectionism, but tries not to get caught in these obsessive behavioural patterns of hers. Going on to say 'Forging metal is a fast-flowing form-finding process, if you want to be reasonably economic. The structure of a piece can be more simplistic, with a gorgeous dynamic and seem still seem light and easy. It gives me pleasure to handle this cold, hard and heavy material by warming it and forming it like modelling clay into all possible shapes by means of anvil and hammer.'
'Making tools, quality, handcrafted tools, that can be used everyday - tools that actually get prettier with each use, and still keeping their perfect shape for generations to come - tools that have a unique character like nothing else'. This, she tells us, is what she loves the most, that 'perfect combination of art and craft. '
And she likes to play.
She's not there, but on her way.
Just be patient.
Born: 1983 and raised in Berlin.
Moved to Bornholm in the spring of 2012
Studied archaeology and ancient history at Cardiff University in
England til 2003 & continued at Humboldt-Uni Berlin til 2004
Apprenticeship to be a blacksmith/metal designer in Berlin from 2004-2008
Worked as a carpenter in Berlin from 2008-2012