An extraordinary workshop of ‘gold’,
specialized in luxury decoration.

Morning awakening under the sparkling sun of Paris. Fabrice Juan gave us an appointment in a workshop that was dazzling in the literal sense of the word. Here, the gold leaves are agitated and twirling for our greatest pleasure. We are in the prestigious Gohard Workshops. A historic house, located in one of the oldest districts of Paris, the 11th arrondissement.

For more than 50 years, the craftsmen of this extraordinary workshop have been making exceptional pieces for the greatest decorators, luxury houses and historical monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, la Concorde and even the Dome of Invalides.

Dazzling works.

Fabrice Juan beckons us to join him with Franck Debets - one of the conductors of this institution. In front of us, fifteen craftsmen work passionately on demanding pieces. Our eye is quickly distracted. In one of the corners of the workshop, a monumental sculpture awaits the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) with impatience. Opposite, huge panels adorned with silver leaf are as mirrors of the workshop. Franck Debets, delighted with our bedazzlement, indicates Fabrice Juan with his eyes. In his hands, a cold metallic plate whose motifs, might suggest to the neophyte, that of marquetry. The finish is stunning. The effect is striking.

The art of gilding... but not only.

Gohard workshops are also true material creators. Visionaries who explore the infinite richness of the patinas, textures, paintings.

Concentrated, Fabrice Juan examines and selects samples of materials to create the metalwork of a beautiful apartment. He comments: "The finish must be flawless. The handles are one of the elements we touch the most in an apartment. They exude a certain form of sensuality. I will not go so far as to speak of spirituality, but the finesse of the grain, the warmth of a material, the care taken to polish, the precision of a patina, contribute unmindfully to the emotion."

Franck, who has by now moved aside, lingers in front of a large sheet with sumptuous oriental motifs. The ensemble, cracked with care, reminds us of this mythical scene of "Once Upon a Time in America" during which De Niro lies down in a smoky opium salon. Fabrice Juan comments: "Materials keep in mind the traces of who we are deep within us."

Well-guarded manufacturing secrets.

Through the large glass, emblazoned with a golden letter ‘G’, a man with silver hair dexterously applies Palladium leaf to a panel pre-coated with a secretly kept concoction.

The hanging is precise, delicate, flawless, without gaps ... the atmosphere is studious. We are surprised to speak in a low voice. The artist, agile, is the guardian of an ancestral technique. The wide brush glides over his cheek... looks for a sheet and then positions it, unsurprisingly, to perfection, to slightly cover the previous one respecting the technique of the checkerboard laying.

Fabrice Juan tells us about his meeting with Baptiste Gohard and Franck Debets eight years ago. A first collaboration that began in an apartment adjoining the Trocadero. Marmorino, parchment, decorative paint, cold metallization, large pastel blue doors adorned with plaques and stands in chiseled bronze... it didn't take much to create unbreakable bonds.

Christelle, joins us in the workshop. She comes to ensure the frame from the Élysée is in good hands. Armed with a reparer, two experts chisel and recover the lost motifs.

We catch them in the middle of a discussion, before a large medallion. "It would go wonderfully in the precious apartment I'm renovating right now." Seriousness gives way to a bit of fantasy. Fabrice poses and, like a romantic hero, imagines himself captured by the grace of Eugène Delacroix's brush.

An international presence

The Gohard Workshops are also located in New-York. They thus contribute to the international influence of our craftsmanship and defend the values of the French way of life, so dear to Fabrice Juan.

We hope in silence that our next stopover will take us overseas to discover other beautiful addresses. While waiting for this possible invitation, Fabrice Juan has for our greatest pleasure and for the second time achieved his goal: to dazzle us.