Winemaker Jean-Michel of Domaine Lucien-Jacob isn’t just passionate about wine, he also has a hidden talent which we were excited to learn about recently – creating artwork out of used barrels!
We got the chance to ask him some questions regarding his unique hobby and learn a little more about one of our longest running partnerships here at 3D.
How and why did you start making art with barrels?
I started using the staves of my old barrels to make art after having organised an exhibition
with one of our coopers in our cellars for our open weekends. He displayed the oak staves,
new and used and I saw how beautiful the wood is before the wine has been in the barrels and then after the colour of the wine has stained the wood. Not only the colour has impregnated into the grain of the wood, but also crystals of tartaric acid (one of the organic acids found in all wines) have formed which glisten in the light.
Yes, I do sell my art and have even sent pieces to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Sweden.
How long does it take to put a piece together?
The reflection time can take ages. Once I start to make the piece it can take anything from two weeks to two months depending on the intricacy of the piece and how many times I take it to bits and start again.
What is your favourite piece of barrel art?
Each piece is a personal expression and creation. Each piece is my favourite.
How frequently do you produce it?
I only really have time between Christmas and the end of February to hide away in my
workshop. So that’s my productive period.
Do you only use your own barrels?
I use my own barrels, I also use off cuts of wood that my coopers kindly give to me. I also have the great privilege to have been given some barrels by Françoise and Jean-Michel Baudet so some of my pieces are coloured by the fine wines of Château Monconseil-Gazin!
Which do you prefer, winemaking or creating artwork?
I love both winemaking and creating my artwork. Variety is the spice of life (my wife, Christine, taught me that phrase).
How do you find inspiration for different pieces?
I am inspired by everything I see, my immediate environment of the vineyards and forests, but also by my travels. I sketch when I have ideas, and then translate those ideas into my artwork when I can.
Rent a row of vines at Domaine Lucien-Jacob and add a bottle of the stunning Gevrey-Chambertin!