EO IPSO STUDIO
In conversation with NADIA EL ABANY
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you fall into design?
You could say that it happened gradually and quite naturally because I was working in a similar domain, fashion. I was a leather goods designer for about fifteen years for several fashion houses in Paris. Designing bags involves working on an object, using techniques and processes similar to those we find in design. As time went by, I wanted to design in a more sustainable way, and the ever more frenetic pace of fashion didn’t really suit me anymore. But moving from one domain to another took me several years, it took quite some time for the project to mature before I finally took the plunge!
What are the influences behind your collections?
I have a somewhat obsessive taste for the decorative arts between the very late 19th and early 20th centuries, from Art Nouveau to the modernists of the Union of Modern Artists. The fact that I grew up in Nancy, the city of Emile Gallé and Jean Prouvé, probably has something to do with it… The trace of these influences in my work is perhaps a tension between ornament and purity, between the sensual and the rational, which is never fully resolved.
Each Bolet lamp is handmade between France and Portugal. What are the different steps involved in producing your lamps?
I take care of all the stages of design. For the production, I work hand in hand with great craftsmen: the base is made in Portugal, a major destination for ceramics where know-how remains very much alive, then decorated in France. The lampshades are made in Troyes, while the metal components come from the north of France and Paris. Finding the right manufacturers was not easy as our quality standards were high, but it was worth the time, as each of the workshops brings incredible precision and finesse to their work.
Tell us about a moment in everyday life at home that brings you joy…
It’s impossible not to put the little daily chats with my five year old daughter in first place! But right after that, I would say taking care of my garden, it’s become essential to my wellbeing as it brings me three indispensable things in an overly connected world: physical work, aesthetic pleasure and a connection to the natural world.
❝When it comes to interior decoration,
I find that your instinct is the best guide…
Whether you’re a meticulous perfectionist or very bohemian,
the important thing is
not to force yourself to follow a model.❞
How do you recommend styling your lamps at home?
I recommend doing exactly what you feel like! When it comes to interior decoration, I find that your instinct is the best guide… Whether you’re a meticulous perfectionist or very bohemian, the important thing is not to force yourself to follow a model. There’s nothing worse for me than interiors that tell you nothing about the people who live there.
City or countryside?
I have a deep love for Paris and I lived there for more than 20 years, I now live mostly in the country, so I would say both! The countryside, where a lot is actually happening, it’s also a great place for artists and creators to spend their time. Perceptions are slowly changing and perspectives are opening up, I think that’s a good thing.
Which designers or artists inspire you?
It’s hard to choose, but Jean-Michel Frank is certainly a major inspiration, as he managed to blend sensitivity and radicalism in a unique way. His personal journey and his work are fascinating. The Austrians Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffmann, for the accuracy of their drawings and their prodigious tranversality. When it comes to paintings, I always look to the virtuosos of color: Redon, Bonnard, Joseph Albers to name a few.
What do you love most about your métier?
Without a doubt the strange state of meditation that you need to oneself into in order to create: simultaneously looking intimately within and remaining permeable to the world.
What’s on the horizon at Eo Ipso Studio?
Ideally, other objects that will expand and enrich the universe of Eo Ipso: another lamp certainly, but also tableware, perhaps a textile range. There’s a lot to explore…
If you had to pick a favourite Bolet lamp…
I would say the little yellow and ivory striped lamp, because it is both very graphic and easy to use. I find it ideal for adding strength and spirit to a somewhat pared back space, like a nice pair of shoes or a pretty bag. You can’t go wrong!