Studio Visit with Sarah Espuete of Oeuvres Sensibles

A textile haven in the heart of Marseille...

Created by artist Sarah Espuete, Oeuvres Sensibles is a textile haven. Situated side by side, the Oeuvres Sensibles workshop and showroom are nestled just behind the main area of Marseille, on a cozy little side street opposite a bike repairs shop. Inside is a celebration of antique linens and slow-arts craft, all acting as a vehicle to bring people together.

The showroom, and Sarah's office space, feature stacks of textiles she has collected all over France and through various online auctions. At the dining table, Sarah shows us through her grandmother's doily collection, pointing out the care and skill of each technique used, an obvious, and personal, inspiration. Also on the table were ceramics made by her friends, indigo dyed pieces, and glass cutlery stands handmade by Sarah.

Dressed in interesting French brands and a pure, bright smile, Sarah had just returned from a holiday in Italy. She explains how Oeuvres Sensibles allows her to carve out time to live (a reoccurring theme in every French person's life, non?), and work in a way that allows her enough space to inject any gathered energy back into her project. Sarah is engaged and enthusiastic about her work, her two spaces are in order and loved. It is tidy but warm, a little eclectic. We marvel over the door's handmade curtain ropes.

The workshop next door cracks open the brand's processes, and we were able to see piles of collected textiles ready for washing and ironing, desks laid in fabric with stencils being traced on. Hung on the wall was 'the' plate, spoon, and fork that repeatedly show up in Oeuvres Sensibles dining pieces. Embroidered napkins, placemats, and tablecloths, are sent to a roster of friends who have skilled enough hands to embroider each piece.
Vintage furniture host table cloths and runners.
Favourite textiles hand selected from all over France.
Comfort, joy, humour and happiness imbue the studio and workshop.

Up the red spiral staircase that Sarah has specifically put in when she moved into the building, we find ourselves in Sarah's space, a desk speckled with collected fragments and notes, a vintage IKEA lamp, and her signature-red floor. Sarah opens up a recent work: a bedspread embroidered with a sleeping woman and a curled up cat, a scene we can all relate to wanting more of!

This feeling of comfort and happiness is woven into all that Sarah creates. With an inherent joy and humour, Oeuvres Sensibles gives us a reason to slow down.

Sarah Espuete of Oeuvres Sensibles.
The office space at Oeuvres Sensibles, Marseille.
The dining set up at Oeuvres Sensibles showroom.
The hand painted mural of the bike repairs shop opposite the showroom.
Sarah's collection of doilies from her grandmother.
The cutting table and textile cupboard in the workroom.
The roster of names of friends Sarah calls on to help with embroidery.
Files of stencils for exact workings in repetition. See more from Oeuvres Sensibles here.
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