Surrounded by amethyst, rock crystal, Tuscan paesina, jade, and Armenian obsidian, Hervé Obligi works in a job where the mineral world is used as raw material. Signatures Singulières had the pleasure of meeting this artist of immense talent in his workshop in Montreuil, in Paris’ suburbs.
Both a craftsman and an artist, he works with stone in his workshop in Montreuil. Born in Champagne, the ebony artist started by working in marquetry and woodcarving but over time, he became a specialist in cutting hard stone. His talents in this field are abundant. He works in part restoring 18th century objects for the Château de Versailles and the Louvre. On the other side, he responds to commissions for the Quai d’Orsay and French embassies abroad (New York, Washington, Geneva UN, London, Moscow, Beirut…). Most recently, he worked on the restoration of the tiling of the Hôtel de la Paiva in Paris. In addition, Hervé Obligi created unique pieces such as these decorative hard stone panels for the French Embassy in Gabon. He has also worked with big names in jewelry and watches, such as Cartier and Piaget.
Among Hervé Obligi’s creations, there are precious watch dials, but also extraordinary fountain pens designed as real sculptures. Or a table made of rock crystal, Tuscan paesina and gold, or lapis lazuli and Buxy marble. In addition, many mysterious creations have been added to the already long list of his achievements. Not forgetting his participation in numerous works with international decorators and antique dealers! Hervé exhibits in many countries and since 2016 he has been represented in New York by the Maison Gérard gallery.
This art of engraving on hard, precious or fine stones with unique nuances and properties is called glyptics. It includes cutting and carving in hollow or in relief. The skill of making glyptics is lauded in France and it forms part of the cultural heritage of the country. Because of this Hervé Obligi was named Maître d’art in 2015, a title awarded for life. His mission will be to transmit the excellence of his knowledge and expertise to a student of his choice.
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