Contemporary Hairwork (L'Artisanat d'art du cheveu coupé)
Antonin Mongin is a Design PhD and a textile craftsman-designer, specialising in the preservation or revival of rare or lost crafts and know-how.
The Contemporary Hairwork project (l’Artisanat d’art du cheveu coupé) aims to revive a craft practice that has been dormant since the beginning of the 20th century. This activity consists of entrusting Antonin Mongin with his own cut hair or that of his relatives so that he can design and create customised and personalised materials or objects made from these fibres. Once cut, the hair is no longer considered as waste, but as a precious raw material charged with memorial and symbolic values linked to the owner from whom it comes. These artefacts thus become tangible objects of memory as an alternative to photography.
Weaving is one of the textilisation (textile transformation) techniques proposed by Antonin to work with cut hair. He weaves them into a weft within a warp made of natural threads (such as silk, cotton or wool).
Each material is unique, as it is made from a single hair donation. It is also possible to mix different types of hair if they belong to a couple of friends, lovers or different members of a family. Finally, the hair colour is not changed.
Each weaving is done by hand on a traditional weaving loom.
Text submitted by the maker
Human hair, cotton, silk.
Antonin Mongin, Julien Cresp