Restoration of antique furniture and contemporary creation
Rendezvous in Saint Maur-des-Fossés in the Helbecque cabinet making workshop. We venture to the back of a hidden courtyard to enter the workshop. The smell of wood indicates our arrival at our destination and it is here that we meet the founder of the workshop, Pierre-Estienne Helbecque, and his trainee, Paul-Maximilien Siffert, at work.
They take us on a tour of the different rooms in the workshop: from the storage area to the varnishing room, via the workbenches.
Here, they restore antique furniture while respecting its history and they also create contemporary furniture for designers and decorators. It is a fascinating profession where the mastery of periods and styles is essential. Timeless, it is thanks to the transmission of this unique know-how that it endures.
We wanted to know a little more about Paul-Maximilien, so we asked him a few questions.
Tell us a little about yourself, about your background
"I have a diploma in cabinet making from the Boulle school and in marquetry, and I also have a degree in furniture restoration from the Institut National du Patrimoine. I have done many internships to practice as much as possible. »
Why did you apply for the Helbecque workshop ?
"I wanted to discover this entrepreneurial dimension because I also want to set up my own business. I wanted to discover this entrepreneurial dimension because I also have this desire to set up my own project, to create my own workshop. project, to create my own workshop. I needed to see all the facets of entrepreneurship, from the business plan to the management of estimates. »
What are your main tasks and projects this year?
"I make various pieces of furniture: church pews, display cabinets, and recently a desk for the Chamber of Trade.
I take care of the plans, the measurements on site if necessary, then I discuss with the customer to know his precise expectations. I calculate the raw materials and the working time. Then I draw up an estimate. At the beginning, I sometimes got the figures wrong, but now I am 100% independent. In fact, I do all the estimates for the furniture I make, which is rewarding.
I also participate in trade fairs and heritage days. »
What are your plans for the future?
"I am planning to set up my own business early next year in the east of France. I am currently looking for a workshop and machines. I want to have all the keys to succeed in my future project. »
Do you expect to work with your tutor in the future?
"I know that I will be able to get support and valuable advice to start well. We will see how to set up different projects if the distance allows. »