Throughout the duration of our current exhibition “Holy Tools!“, the blog of LA Joaillerie invites you to discover the artists participating in the exhibition. Through a tool-Portrait, discover their considerations on tools, their views on crafts and handmaking.
Born in Barcelona in 1966, Xavier Monclús is an art jeweller. Soon after his studies at the Massana School in Barcelona, his work has been presented in galleries and museums in Europe, United States, Canada and Japan. Since 2013, he lives and works in Maó, Menorca island, Spain.
– If you were a tool ?
If I were a tool, I would ask to have a soul and be able to rest a little from time to time
– If you were a gesture ?
If I were a gesture I would like to be precise, elegant and wise.
– What is your first or most significant memory related to tools ?
When I was a kid and my grandmother gave me some of my grandfather’s tools watchmaker . I still keep them and some use them in my workshop.
– Which is your favorite tool and why ?
I think the hammer. It has a very attractive shape and is made of metal and wood.It has a slender shape and looks like a character…
I like to use it in my work because I’m supposed to mold and flatten the metal. With it I can create three-dimensional shapes starting from two-dimensional metal plates. For me, the hammer is an extension of my brain-arm-hand and I can get to make very precise and sensitive gestures in the metal.
On the other hand, nailing nails in the wood is for me one of the greatest pleasures in the world…
– Why did you choose working with my hands (and brain!) and what does it provide you ?
I guess because I was destined to work in a manual, artisan and artistic activity… Being able to work means being able to express myself as an artist while learning and developing my craft as a jeweler.
Working with hands today is like an act of resistance and rebellion before a world so virtual and supertechnical… It is to claim the past and our culture.
– How do you consider the growing importance of technologies and machines (modelisation, laser, etc) and the vanishing of ancient know-hows ? How does this affect your practice or extend your possibilities ?
All new techniques are very positive because they give us solutions to technical problems and save us time. I like technology although I am nostalgic of my old craft. I do not like technology to make the old crafts disappear, since they are irreplaceable and are part of our culture. We have to fight, so that nothing of the old knowledge is lost. Until now, it has not affected me so much, but I see that some schools close classes of specialties and sophisticated techniques that we could learn before. Companies that used to make tools have closed and now we can not find them anymore. This is a loss sometimes and we have to adapt to find other solutions. We have to teach the techniques and to teach how to make the tools too. Our attitude is important and we have to explain that the works that we do are the result of our work and craft, apart from being an artistic work. We are the followers of a tradition of many centuries. Customers must understand that what we do is something unique and not an industrial product