Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pierre Morel Père: a Master Pipe carver

Pierre Morel "Père" is second row second from the left

Pierre Morel "Père" (1908-1979) was an artist at heart. He graduated from the Beaux Arts Academy in Paris where he taught for two years before settling back in Saint-Claude.

All his life he would draw, 

from caricatures 

to cartoon characters

to advertising 

to designing canes which he manufactured in his workshop in Saint-Claude and sold to the most exclusive designers in Paris.

Pierre Morel Père in his workshop, 1951.

Before the start of the Second World War, his workshop employed over seventy workers. 

Panther Sculpture by Pierre Morel Senior

 In 1961, he moved his workshop to the neighborhood of La Coupe. He would soon turn to what would be the passion of his life: carving briar pipes free hand ("fait main"). A first for French pipe makers.

Up until then, all production of briar pipes in Saint-Claude was machine driven, calibrated and normalized. The artist in him saw the potential of shaping the pipe by hand, thereby freeing his creativity, searching for unicity, inventing new forms in a dynamic exchange between creator and ébauchon.

He was also the first to make the outer part of the briar burl ("la croûte de broussin") an integral part of the design.
Here is a catalog, dated 1973 and addressed to the German market, of some of the masterpieces he produced. 

La Naja

La Corolle de Fleur aka "Fleur" aka "La Fleur de Bruyère"

La "Croûte de Broussin"

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