Several weeks ago now, I had the opportunity to go to Strasbourg, for a weekend, to visit my friend Nathalie, professional engraver and creator of the Héron Graveur, and to discover his creative workshop there. It is therefore this visit that I offer you today in this article!
We met several years ago at the “Créations & Savoir-Faire” creative leisure fair which takes place every year at Porte de Versaille in Paris. During her visit to the show, Nathalie, sensitive to the Japanese and colorful world that is mine, came to visit us on our stand. We immediately got along very well and the idea of doing something together quickly came to mind!
So, the year following our meeting, I suggested to him that he lead eraser engraving workshops at the store. It was the start of a beautiful friendship! Nathalie has been running workshops at the store for over four years now to teach you, with kindness and pedagogy, rubber engraving.
So I naturally wanted to discover his world, his workplace, his sources of inspiration more closely and to share all of this with you. I hope that these few words and photos will convey them to you as best as possible!
When I arrived there, I was immediately fascinated by Nathalie's work table, positioned facing the window and thus bathed in beautiful light for a large part of the day. Since gum engraving requires a certain amount of attention to detail, it is essential to have a well-lit work space.
It is also a slow pace of work, which requires concentration and somewhat immerses you in a meditative state. I tried to capture these suspended moments when Nathalie was hard at work.
The photos suggest it but Nathalie has two major inspirations in her work, nature and Japan. She enjoys collecting, over time, different elements that enrich her creative space: plants (dried flowers, uniquely shaped leaves, pine cones, etc.), old botanical books, illustrations plants but also grigris, Japanese ceramics, kokeshi in wood, Japanese papers and fabrics...
I loved exploring the different corners of his workshop and discovering lots of adorable treasures collected over the years.
Nathalie's interest in the plant and animal world, as well as Japanese culture, is also found in the patterns she engraves by hand: bamboo, ferns, ginkgo , tits and carp. koi but also Japanese lanterns and fans, maneki-neko , cherry blossoms, koinobori and Mount Fuji.
She particularly appreciates the patterns that can be found on the kimono , Japanese ceramics and prints, which nourish his work.
This taste for Japanese culture comes from afar. It turns out that part of his family resided in Japan at the beginning of the last century and that his great-great-grandfather, a silk merchant, founded the French Chamber of Commerce in Yokohama in 1918!
Among the objects brought back by her family was this very beautiful box, engraved with a bird and flower motif, which was used to store ribbons. Nathalie also showed me this magnificent photo album, where the photos are presented in the form of an accordion, and which contains family photos taken at that time. I was very touched to discover these traces of the past!
In parallel with her family history, Nathalie was able to try out, from a very young age, all kinds of creative hobbies (pottery, drawing, painting, etc.) thanks to her mother who is very manual and who has a pronounced taste for art in its different forms.
Perhaps you have seen some of our Japanese papers throughout this article?
If you liked this article, I invite you to discover Nathalie’s work in more detail on her website “Le Héron Graveur” and her Instagram account @leherongraveur ! She offers creative introductory eraser engraving workshops in Strasbourg as well as in Paris in our store.
Nathalie also offers complete online training to discover eraser engraving and learn how to make your own stamps. I highly recommend it! To find out more, I invite you to visit the online training page “I engrave my stamps” !
For those who have already engraved stamps, Nathalie recently released “Around the world in 100 patterns to engrave” , which includes 100 new and varied patterns that will take you on a journey as well as new video tips!
I'll see you again very soon for new creative articles. Until then, I wish you a very good start to autumn!
Did you know Nathalie’s work?
have you ever tried eraser engraving?