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Marmoleum stories

The Explorer

Marmoleum experiments - photography Sjoerd Knibbeler

Pauline Esparon

In 2019 French designer Pauline Esparon graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, NL, with a project on linen. Coming from Normandy she developed a love for flax at an early age. This strong affinity inspired her to research new potentials for the discarded raw primary materials from the linen production process. With new techniques, she succeeded to create a series of unique designs that show new qualities of the flax fiber.

Pauline Esparon, photography Max Radke

Revealing new qualities

Over the years Pauline has created a unique design approach. In an intuitive reflective process, she explores the material for its specific properties which will dictate the final shape of her design. Her focus is on revealing new qualities of standardized materials, to highlight their hidden potential. Common techniques are tweaked by her to rework materials into new applications and/or collectible products. Her ultimate ambition is to create value to production waste streams and to open up new perspectives for the local craft, as well as the established industry.

Flax project - photography Stephane Ruchaud
Raw materials photography Sjoerd Knibbeler

A renewed encounter

In 2020 Pauline was invited to participate in the group exhibition HOW&WOW Linen, an initiative of the CCNL, Crafts Council Nederland, with the flax plant as a central theme. The CCNL introduced Pauline to Marmoleum as being a natural product based on flaxseed (linseed) oil. This new angle inspired Pauline to approach Forbo Flooring Systems for her next project.

A unique material

In the interview Pauline reflects on Marmoleum and her renewed encounter with the material. She explains how her perspective on Marmoleum evolved during her research. How she became intrigued by the versatile appearance and behavior of this exciting ‘ambiguous’ material. Marmoleum is described by her as being unique in its ‘in-between’ identity. Being heavy and rigid but at the same time light and supple, resilient with a soft and velvety expression. A material that invites to be explored.

Marmoleum photography Max Radke
Overview of Marmoleum research - photography Max Radke

A little Magic

The layered identity of Marmoleum challenges Pauline to explore how to shape a product that embodies this duality. Believing that things are more interesting when there is a certain tension, surprise in them. When you don’t grasp it fully, when there is a wondering it creates this little magic.

For more information about Pauline see also the online article in TLmag published March 2020.

With special thanks to:

Pauline Esparon
Gal Keshet | directing, filming and editing
Simone de Vries | consultancy
Crafts Council Nederland, Willemien Ippel | who introduced us to Pauline Esparon
Max Radke | photography portrait Pauline Esparon and overview of Marmoleum research
Sjoerd Knibbeler | photography Marmoleum raw materials
Stéphane Ruchaud | photography linen graduation project
Gena Haensel | transcription