Silk is a living material that undergoes several transformational stages punctuated by rhythmic cycles of washing, rinsing, fixing and drying, which echo the working cycles of calcination, dissolution and coagulation of the alchemist during the Great Work.
The Bombyx silk worm transforms inside the cocoon. The thread will be reeled, and undergo various treatments, then spun, dyed and woven until the silk cloth is finally printed, fixed and washed.
Peau de Chagrin is dedicated to working with traditional Lyonnais silk makers, known as Soyeux, since Lyon became the capital of France's silk industry by royal decree in 1536. The passion and expertise of the ennoblisseurs, the artisans who dye, print, sew and finish the silk, have developed over generations of experience. Their virtuosity is at a level akin to the noble material they transform.
LAST OF THE SILK ARTISANS
In January 2016, Peau de Chagrin made a documentary in Lyon at the Maison Marc Rozier Workshops. The film goes through the processes of silk production and printing, from the Bombyx Mori moth, to the luxurious accessories that their cocoons eventually become.
These old artisanal processes are captured hypnotically, with symbolic references to some of the processes involved in alchemy.