It is at "La Cheminée Bleue" (The Blue Chimney) , their workshop, that Simone and Henri Jean realize with four hands their engravings.
For these dreams surveyors, travelers of memories, in love with papers, traces and signs, the hand that trims, digs, scratches, inks and caresses is their guide on this journey of emotion and knowledge.
"To create, the mind invents a set of rules that allows him to get lost and end up where it was not expected."
"The driveway leading to Simone and Henri's house is surrounded by trees and flowers. Along the way we meet a cat and then another. Near the house, fish glide in a papyrus-lined basin. The door opens in a light tingling. A jasmine diffuses its subtle fragrance in a clear interior made of wood and glass, where paintings and prints, African sculptures and pottery from various sources cohabits. If the weather is cold, a warm fire will be crackling in the blue chimney which gave its name to their workshop-house. Such is the residence of Simone and Henri, in the same way of their engravings, open, warm, bright.
It was in 1982 that Simone and Henri settled in the "pays Mellois" (the Melle area) and built their workshop-home. Their project was not to be isolated from the rest of the world, but outraged by injustices, they did not hesitate to actively engage in causes they deemed fair.
Enjoying a step back from the busy cities, they found there a quality of life and organization that allowed them to carry out their ideas and enhances their freedom as individuals and creators. This development was made in agreement with the rural environment they chose, by their meeting with others ... "
Extract from Simone and Henri JEAN : Engraving with four hands,
"Arts et Métiers du Livre" July 1995, Françoise Seince.
Traditional or modern, the techniques are used in their full potential and contribute to the image's language. Released from school's bans, Simone and Henri were happy to indulge in their own alchemy.
"The secret is to print together." These intense moments have greatly contributed to the progress of their work and are an integral part of the creation ...
The supports are varied and each image finds the paper that suits her best: Arches, watercolor paper mounted on amate, kraft, Nepalese paper, japanese, Himalayan paper, Larroque, patatraces. The embossings highlight the life and sensuality of the papers and catch the light that makes the colors vibrate so well... "
The artistic process