Auzelles glass
©Yann Theveniaud

Stained-glass artist with a thousand and one facets

How do you make a living from your passion in the middle of the Livradois? Marie-Paule Dauphin, a stained-glass artist in Auzelles, has the art of assembling stained-glass windows and making a name for herself. If many people spend their lives dreaming of casting off, Marie-Paule Dauphin is far more pragmatic. A question of temperament.

Having settled in the small village of Auzelles near Cunlhat with her husband two years ago, the former events manager at the Eiffel Tower in Paris has now become a stained-glass artist.

Auzelles glass

A long-standing passion 

Back in 2006, I wanted to change a bathroom tile. I thought a stained glass window in this period house would look good. When I went round the craftsmen, I found that it was excessively expensive, so I decided to do it myself,” recalls the 58-year-old former executive.

After a few courses, Marie-Paule discovered her passion, “I never stopped working”.

In the workshop attached to her house in the heart of the village of Auzelles, opposite the church of Saint-Blaise, Marie-Paule has given herself a place of choice in which to work. Faced with the vast expanse of resin that stretches as far as the eye can see, she takes advantage of the natural light projected through a large window to create her stained-glass windows.

Overlooking the work, the indefatigable craftswoman becomes quieter. Concentrating, she explains the stages of her work with the same meticulous attention to detail she employs in her gestures.

I start with a drawing and then create a template. A sort of sketch on which are drawn the different parts that will make up the stained glass,” she explains.

The Tiffany method 

With a sure hand, she then “embrittles” the glass with a diamond, following the curves of the template pieces.

At this precise moment, it’s the glass that speaks, because when it’s cut, there’s a characteristic noise that can be distinguished over time”, she reveals.

Last step: a copper band covers each part of the puzzle, which is then assembled with pewter. “The Tiffany method”, explains Marie-Paule.

Eiffel Tower (of course), but also animal or plant forms, as paintings or jewelry: Marie-Paule Dauphin works according to her inspiration, but above all according to other people’s tastes…

Because if you’re a stained-glass artist and want to make a name for yourself in the Livradois region in 2020, it’s best to steer clear of the cliché of the lonely or even misunderstood artist. And as a former events manager, Marie-Paule understands this very well.

If I were on Rue des Gras in Clermont Ferrand, people would see the store and come in, not here,” sums up the stained-glass artist, who uses her work almost instinctively. All the communication tools at her disposal to promote her business.

Once again, Marie-Paule Dauphin can’t stop talking about a field she knows inside out, suddenly donning the apron of a business leader and unveiling her action plan.

Toilets and social networks 

Social networking, member of the Toscane d’Auvergne or the Route des métiers… She is also diversifying her activities (tea room and B&B in the town center) to create a coherent whole.

Everything seems to have been thought out down to the smallest detail. “I installed the tea room’s toilets in my stained-glass workshop so that customers could discover my creations,” she laughs.

This operation of seduction, as rational as it is cobbled-together, seems to be bearing fruit. Over the past 2 years, the craftswoman has already sold 250 creations, not counting jewelry.

The Eiffel Tower is already a long way off. And the stained-glass artist has no regrets.

Lagazettedethiers

 YANN TERRAT, journalist - La Gazette de Thiers-Ambert

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