The Musée des Arts Décoratifs acquires Marion Delarue Red Agate bracelet for their permanent jewellery collection

Article  /  Collecting   Curating
Published: 26.04.2018
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs acquires Marion Delarue Red Agate bracelet for their permanent jewellery collection.
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Musée des Arts Décoratifs
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Marion Delarue. Bracelet: Red Agate bracelet, 2012 - 2013. Porcelain, glass, glaze & chamotte fused at high temperature and polished.. 10.1 x 10.1 x 0.5 cm.. Part of: Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris. From series: Agate Jewels series. Marion Delarue
Bracelet: Red Agate bracelet, 2012 - 2013
Porcelain, glass, glaze & chamotte fused at high temperature and polished.
10.1 x 10.1 x 0.5 cm.
Part of: Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris
From series: Agate Jewels series
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After the acquisition of the Cracheh II in 2014 (a neckpiece made of inner tube and Korean traditional lacquer, as a reference to the Korean traditional headdress), the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD) has recently enriched its permanent collection of contemporary jewellery with the Red Agate bracelet.
About the Red Agate bracelet
The impetus for this work stems from Marion’s interest in the notions of fakes, imitations and counterfeits, particularly those created in order to more adequately meet people’s needs, since they possess some attributes that are missing in the originals. By creating false agates, she can design geometrical shapes that cannot be found in nature, that can be worn directly without requiring any particular set or structure.

For millennia human beings have been trying to imitate stones used for the creation of ornaments. The very first false agates made in clay and covered with layers of silica (a technique, which allows superimposition of colours to be created) is said to date back to Mesopotamia in 2200 BC.

The association of clay and glass seemed perfectly suited to her project since it allows Marion to recreate agates by imitating the natural process. Fluids, more or less rich in silica and of various compositions, circulate amongst rocky cavities, generating successive layers of quartz crystals after each passing, eventually creating a geode and, when the cavity is full, becoming an agate. She thus starts the piece by realizing a cavity in porcelain, within which she circulates various liquid elements that have differing silica saturations, a process she continues until the cavity is entirely filled. The piece is then fired at a high temperature in order to fuse the siliceous elements that constitute it.

The work is subsequently sanded and polished, as one would do for natural agates. This realization can only be successful by this fusion of ceramics and glass: they could not be dissociated from each other given that the unique properties that define them are complementary. The porcelain brings to the piece the stability required to keep the pattern in place during the firing process and to keep the glass in place during its fusion; the glass brings the piece its shine and translucency. As well, it is the incompatibility of the two materials which provokes the glass’s cracks and makes it looks like quartz. The ceramic and the glass thus blended also enable the feel and the weight of a natural agate.

The interior of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD). 
© MAD / photo by Luc Boegly.

About the MAD
With their birth in Paris in1882, in the wake of the Universal Exhibitions, the MAD set themselves the motto and the objective to introduce the “beautiful into the useful ”, in fields as varied as: furniture, decorative objects, materials, jewels, ceramics, wallpapers, textile, fashion, posters, books, drawings… whether they are unique or industrialized objects and whatever the modes of design and production are.

Boasting some 150,000 objects, the collections are privileged testaments to the French art of living, the savoir-faire of its craftsmen and industrialists, the research and creativity of its artists, the passion of its collectors and the desire to pass these riches on to others. Many criteria governed the selection of some 6,000 objects for permanent display, including their exemplarity, use, economy, craftsmanship, prowess and symbolism.
Thus, for more than one hundred years, they have constituted, enriched and preserved an exceptional inheritance, from the Middle Ages up to the present day.

The MAD exhibit, distribute, document and transmit this inheritance, educating and informing audiences of all ages and all social conditions. They train and encourage the future professionals of creation. The museums, the library, the research centers, the schools and workshops make them the laboratory of the style and taste of the various times.

The Jewellery section in Musée des Arts Décoratifs (MAD).
© MAD / photo by Luc Boegly.

About Marion Delarue
Marion Delarue is an award-winning artist whose pieces have been exhibited in a number of museums around the world (Modern Art Museum in Paris, World Jewelry Museum in Seoul, Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington DC…); she was also invited to several artist-in-residencies and cultural programmes in Asia (South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand..). The unique nature of her work lays in the adaptation of highly specialized Asian techniques used in a traditional or experimental way. Marion strives to bring together both traditional savoir-faire and contemporaneity; hand-crafted techniques and critical thinking.

Marion Delarue. Neckpiece. Cracheh II, 2014. Korean traditional natural lacquer, inner tube, gold powder. 24 x 23 x 10 cm. Part of: Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris. Photo by: Marion Delarue. From series: Crachehs