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Forged in Friendship

A new furniture and lighting collection from Maison Pouenat and Humbert & Poyet takes moody inspiration from the Art Deco period.

By Rachel Gallaher

A collaboration 10 years in the making, the Metamorphosis collection, designed in creative partnership between storied French iron maker Maison Pouenat and interior architecture firm Humbert & Poyet, debuted last week at Paris Design Week.

The relationship between the two companies, which began a decade ago thanks to a meeting at Maison & Objet, is rooted in a mutual passion for artisan craftsmanship and respect for the delicate art of savoir-faire.

Christophe Poyet, Jacques Rayet & Emil Humbert.

The collection, which consists of furniture, lighting, and bespoke collector’s items, takes strong aesthetic influence from the Art Deco period. Materials such as lacquered wood, stone, plaster, and brass combine for a striking contrast between the raw and the ornate, and clean lines draw the eye along bold silhouettes. Details such as texture and shape pay tribute to some of Humbert & Poyet’s favorite artists, in particular Jean Royère, Paavo Tynell, and Josef Hoffmann.

“This collection of furniture and lighting, expressing a light and balanced design, with combinations of subtle finishes, creates an atmosphere of serenity,” says Jacques Rayet, who has been at the helm of 140-year-old Maison Pouenat since 1995.

The collection was unveiled at Galerie Pouenat in Paris, with scenography that served as a tribute to Christo & Jeanne Claude, artists known for their large-scale, site-specific installations that often wrapped landmarks or landscape elements in fabric. Christo passed away on May 31 of this year. Images of the Metamorphosis collection showpieces from the collection both wrapped and unwrapped—a statement marking Humbert & Poyet’s first collection in collaboration with an artisan.

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