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The birth of a passion….
It was in 1952 that my father discovered how towork on olive wood.
He left the school in Vence and every day at midday he walked through the old town to have lunch with his sister.
Every day he watched a craftsman, in a cellar in the square Godeau who, with tools in hand, created various salad and fruit bowls. He found it magical to watch the shavings fly under the strokes of the Adze and see an object take shape before his eyes. This man, Mr Cancedda was the uncle of my father’s brother-in-law, but also the uncle of the Raffaelli family of St Paul de Vence who were the first in 1948 – 1950 to create handmade objects in olive wood.
Pierre Dubosq dans son atelier en 1958 - Le travail du Bois d'olivier
Pierre Dubosq dans son atelier en 1958 - Le travail du Bois d'olivier
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Pierre Dubosq sculptant du bois d'olivier en 1958
Pierre Dubosq in 1958

At 18, after leaving school, my father established himself as “Craftsman” without ever having learned anything about the professions using wood. This took place in 1953.
He settled in Tourrettes-sur-Loup in 1958, by opening a workshop on the east side of the ‘Grand rue’ (main road). There were very few tourists in the winter, so he placed a piece of trunk on his shoulder and went to work in the sun, just above the village. He fell ill in 1960, and had to leave it all behind, but thanks to his will power, and despite his handicap he was able to establish himself more in 1965 and once again in the ‘Grand Rue’, but this time on the West side.

The birth of a passion
Today, it is me, his son, who pays tribute to him by perpetuating his gestures,
and all the savoir-faire learned over the years that he transferred to me.
Guillaume Dubosq découpant une planchette en bois d'olivier dans son atelier

In his time, there was an olive wood craftsman in every village of the region, the activity was in full swing. Unfortunately, throughout time and due to the absence of buyers, these workshops have progressively closed.

Today, I am one of the last representatives of this savoir-faire in France.

Guillaume Dubosq dans son atelier du travail du Bois d'Olivier

Today, the adze had given way to the rotary rasp and the small hand saw to the belt sander. The workshop and the boutique have changed but the desire and appetite to model olive wood remains.

Guillaume Dubosq dans son atelier - Le travail artisanal du Bois d'olivier

I have taken up the flame, after having spent my childhood “knocking up” small cars and swords in the workshop next to my father. It was like this, quite naturally, that the love of olive wood came to me and that I decided to make this my profession.

I spent four years in a training school to obtain a professional diploma as cabinet maker, then the knowledge how to work on olive wood occupied me fully, because this wood is like no other and the technics of how to work it are not taught in any school.

The Transmission of a Savoir-Faire
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Here is a list of olive wood craftsmen over the years. However, only a few of them are still in activity today.
  • In Vence: Successively Messrs Cancceda, then Belleudy, Zancanaro, Piras and Paingris.
  • In Nice: Messrs Muller and Torino.
  • In Drap: Mr Morini.
  • In Sospel: Messrs Pirus and Gasperini.
  • In Saorge: Mr Franca.
  • In Breil sur Roya: Messrs Rech and Cottarlorda.
  • In Vallauris: Messrs Lacroix, Bains, Leonelli, Léger, Simondi, Chiocchi, Grego, and Sébastian.
  • In St Paul de Vence: Messrs Bain, Lucien, and Morisset.
  • In Cagnes sur Mer: Mr Lange.
  • In Gilette: Mr Niogret.
  • In Levens: Mr Hughes.
  • In La Gaude: Mr Siri.
  • In Fayence: Mr Ragot.
  • In Biot: Messrs Locqueneux and Zilvelli.
  • In Roquesteron: Mr Roll father and son.
  • In Valbonne: Mr Boselli and son.
  • In Villeneuve: Lange and Gena (furniture).
  • In Auribeau sur Siagne: Mr Roggero.
  • In Aix en Provence: Mr Berne (furniture).

They have confidence in me

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