The piece L'Orchidée, pulls influence from Loius Majorelle's desk of the same name displayed in the Musee d' Orsay in Paris, France. Marc Fish's piece, like Majorelle at the time, uses some groundbreaking techniques utilising design, research and experimentation. It's design and construction features meticulous refinement – not least the seamless tambour roll top.
The tambour roll-top appears to be a solid piece of wood, however, it is veneered canvas layered upon strips of wood, a technique like this has never been used before and the results are quite astonishing.
Marc believes that it is only through looking deeply into nature and the natural environment that design can reach its full potential. Design should be stimulating, excite the senses and be an expression of the designer's beliefs and his deep understanding of the very materials he uses.
An important piece with a deep meaning; a reference in design can be seen to embody the emotional and physical connection between a parent and their child. The cradling of a new generation, a new hope, the future, from inception to the encapsulating support in the stages prior to birth, to the ever-lasting connection and responsibility to the new life.
The inspiration for the desk's style follows that passage of life and the passage of furniture from the Art Nouveau movement, and this is not by chance but a direct link with the past and a warning of the future. The demise of the Art Nouveau movement is an example of progress – Art Deco with its industrial processes was a formidable component, and with relative ease Art Nouveau’s life force was terminated.
This redundancy of a style was a world turning its back on the skill of the maker for the cheaper, more modern style. It was the turning point in furniture making history, with post movements attempting a crafts revival or a rebirth. A romantic and whimsical notion that had little success due to the reluctance to embrace new technology. The future of furniture making is not through romanticising about a certain period or allowing design be trapped by an ideal that has little or no connection to contemporary life.
The past must be studied and dissected, but replicating and reproducing will not allow us to move forward, for each of the styles prior did not stand still but evolved. L'Orchidée is that evolution from Art Nouveau and culminating in the acceptance of technologies in materials, manufacture and techniques. The nurturing of life in any form starts with the acceptance of development, growth and allowing it freedom to fulfil its full potential. This is it's potential, this is furniture design embracing the past and the future with an equal passion and enthusiasm.
Awarded Guildmark no 420 by The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers