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Aisthésis, design with spirit

For over 20 years, Aisthésis has been creating bespoke furniture for decorators and individuals alike, and producing its own collections. A skilful blend of age-old expertise and unmistakably modern lines, Jérôme Cordié’s designs have a meaning, an inspiration drawn from the heart of mythology, symbolism and History. The use of natural materials, such as shagreen, mica, parchment, horn, mother-of-pearl, etc., reinforces this search for harmony with nature. Rare expertise that was recognised with the EPV label in 2006.

A man on a constant quest

After his scientific studies, Jérôme Cordié trained in carpentry through an apprenticeship scheme, then in cabinet-making and finishing techniques. Jérôme Cordié is a man who is curious about everything, always keen to discover new techniques and materials. "I am always interested in the mysterious. I really like things that are unknown. With shagreen, everything was to discover…”

It was in 1984, when he had just left the provinces to set up his restoration workshop in Paris, that Jérôme discovered shagreen, which would become his abiding passion!

The adventure of shagreen

The story of shagreen is actually a series of twists and turns.


This skinray or dogfish skin, which has been used in Japan since the 8th century, only arrived in Europe in the 17th century, through Dutch trading posts. It was used in case making at the time: shagreen cases were all the rage.

It went out of fashion in the 19th century, leading to the practices and techniques falling into oblivion.

In 1910, the designer Paul Iribe salvaged an old stock of shagreen. He designed a piece of furniture and asked his friend Clément Rousseau, the cabinetmaker, to create it using these skins. It was a huge success, a benchmark for the entire Art Deco period. All decorators got caught up in the craze for shagreen.

However, the successive wars caused this beautiful skin to be forgotten yet again, and the skills in handling it were lost once more.

Today, it is being sought after afresh for furniture, fine leather goods and fine jewellery.


Jérôme Cordié was one of the first to rework shagreen. While he has revived the time-honoured traditional techniques, he also invents new methods and finishes through continual research. One of his first innovations was the gilt same-nuri finish.

Recognised as a specialist, he has been entrusted with restoring Art Deco furniture and objects, some of which are found in top museums (Rodin, Cognac Jay, Carnavalet, Arts Décoratifs, Le Louvre, etc.). However, while he maintains a strong inclination for this period, his mastery of techniques specific to each domain and his knowledge of the decorative arts allow him to restore all styles of furniture.


A creative line with meaning


Dans les créations Aisthésis, Jérôme Cordié met en œuvre les tracés régulateurs, ces principes géométriques utilisés par les constructeurs de l’Antiquité et du Moyen-âge. Inscrivant les formes dans des proportions harmoniques liées aux lois de la nature, ils engendrent une vraie symbiose entre l’homme et l’objet.

Pour renforcer ce caractère écologique, Jérôme Cordié n’utilise que des matières naturelles, tels le parchemin, la corne, la nacre, le mica, os, bois précieux,etc.

Today, Jérôme Cordié crafts exceptional items of furniture for top French and international decorators and produces his own line by the name of  Aisthésis: bespoke furniture along with creations, in a selection of rare materials.

In Aisthésis’ designs, Jérôme Cordié draws on regulating lines, those geometric principles used by builders in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Shaping forms according to harmonious proportions linked to the laws of nature, they give rise to a real symbiosis between man and object.

Taking this ecological aspect a step further, Jérôme Cordié uses only natural materials, such as parchment, horn, mother-of-pearl, mica, bone, precious woods, etc.

His designs in unmistakably modern lines have a spiritual dimension: "design is the meeting between a form, a symbol and a story”.


"Khépri” and "Déburiel” stools

These two stools belong to the "des anges” furniture line.

They were created by Jérôme Cordié and Aisthésis on the theme of the Earth and the insect kingdom. Insects are essential to life on earth in this age in which it seems to be under threat.

The earth is represented on the top by a crackled circle inlaid with hard stones: lapis lazuli for one and jade for the other.

The stools are lacquered using traditional techniques by Marie Zebrou from the "Isabelle Emmerique” studio and an insect is represented on each stool.

Khépri: On the top, lapis lazuli – the symbol of Egypt – is combined with its emblem, the beetle, the symbol of resurrection and therefore the Sun and the cycle of life.

Déburiel :

On the top, jade – the Eastern symbol of yang, the solar symbol of rebirth, perfection and cosmic energy, the emblem of the five virtues – is combined with the bee, which is also a solar symbol. Bees, which are essential to the pollination of plants on earth, are now an endangered species.

The caps were created by Carole Crèvecoeurs from "Atelier Vulcain” in pure iron, an everlasting material.




Exceptional French heritage

Through its choice to manufacture all of its furniture in its Parisian studio, Aisthésis helps to promote exceptional craftsmanship that is part of French heritage. Jérôme Cordié participates in trade fairs and exhibitions both in France and abroad, and is president of the Association du Viaduc des arts.

01 July 2014