Stromboli pedestal table Out of the ordinary and self-taught, combining the skills of a trained musician, architect, designer and sculptor with an addictive passion for equestrian sports, Schmitt has produced a most compelling oeuvre over the past 30 years. His workshop, set at the edge of the Fontainebleau forest is the hub where hundreds of models have been created, designed and shaped before being produced by France’s finest craftsmen. Yet his approach to design remains resolutely contemporary with extraordinary shapes that puzzle and challenge perceptions. Deprived of ornamentation, his works present fluid forms that have been melted, carved or blown using solid materials such as bronze, alabaster, marble and Bohemian glass. They are subtly enhanced by patchworks of patinas, ranging from dark gold to marron glacé, charcoal grey and silver. The Stromboli pedestal table series (2012) in patinated bronze and blown Bohemian glass is a vivid example of Schmitt’s ability to combine materials and colours with incredible ingenuity. Sometimes pairing noble and synthetic materials together – glass and steel, marble and Corian, slate and parchment, aluminium and steel – Schmitt grasps the full possibilities and constraints of materials, creating tensions through oppositions and visual imbalances through unusual proportions, as shown in the Sugegasa floor lamps (2013) and Cordouan floor lamps (2015). Schmitt’s musical background transpires in his work, continuously punctuated by rhythm, cadences and scales.