The International Stained-Glass School in Chartres must be very proud of the teaching in stained-glass techniques that was provided in 2003 to Danielle Yvetot, an artist “passionate about light, colour and transparency”, as she accurately describes herself. The training consisted of technical and artistic discoveries involving glass fusing, “fusing thermoformage”, along with mastering enamels and grisaille. Personally, when I walk into a church on a sunny day, I invariably look for those almost magical patterns on the floor tiles in the aisle which are projected by the stained-glass windows. Whether they be traditional or contemporary, the fragments of light enchant my perception of colours with their fleeting, flowing shapes that human art has magnified with the aid of this essential celestial material.
Danielle Yvetot has made this miraculous effect her own. In other words, through her talent and her mastery of shapes and shades, she reinvents glass sculptures, either with simple, supple and clean traditional lines, or through evocative and invigorating creations more characterictic of our time. Vivid, precious and soft colours blend with an ever present charm in her daring compositions, characterised by the flowing quality of the material and through her research for harmony and imagination that emenate from the elements and from dreams.
André RUELLAN, Art Critic
It is impossible to cheat when it comes to arts involving fire. A well-grounded technique is necessary if one hopes to make a place for oneself. Fulfilling a dream deferred for too long, Danielle Yvetot started working with glass in 2003. The prestigious International Stained-Glass School in Chartres provided her with the means to express her passion, which was all she needed to to fulfil her talent. After her initiation in the traditional art of stained-glass making with lead and pewter, grisaille and enamel, she became interested in other techniques such as thermoformage and glass fusing. A series of workshops completed her training in these disciplines. All that remained to do was equip herself with a kiln and the materials necessary for her personal research. Very quickly, light, the source of her work, brought her the joy for which she had been waiting for so long.
As soon as she begins talking about her passion, Danielle Yvetot is transported by an indescribable joy. Her eyes light up, reflecting the emotion she feels when her creations come out of the kiln. She still excitedly apprehends the result of each firing. It is a surprise every time. No wonder then that every work of art Danielle Yyvetot produces is unique, particularly the sculptures, since the process is forever generating new shapes. Mass-producing works would be meaningless for her. The crafts industry holds no appeal, she admits without any contempt. What interests her is creating, the enigmatic and partially unpredictable part that is left to the firing. Glassmaking is really about alchemy. Nobody can circumvent the laws that govern matter. The temperature in the kiln rises progressively by stages to 800° Celcius. Before opening the kiln, you have to wait for the temparature to fall to 40° if you want to avoid all risk of the glass breaking. Moreover, it must not be forgotten that high-quality glass and glass of an incompatible composition cannot be fused.
For stained-glass, the process is quite different. It is made according to a pre-established plan and extremely precise dimensional constraints. First, a drawing outlines the shape of each piece of glass or element of the window. Each section is then removed and serves as a template for the meticulous work of cutting the glass of the chosen colour. The different pieces of glass are then assembled with lead, like a jigsaw puzzle, scrupulously respecting the pattern desired. Master glassmakers obeyed this tried and tested technique when making church stained-glass windows. In her youth, Danielle Yvetot dreamt of going to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Wilful and determined, she got her way late on in life and does not regret it, since the joys she derives from her work have come to enlighten her life so much. Gifted with real artistic sensibility, she evokes the crystal clear nature of her favourite material. Poetry and music also had a role to play in Danielle’s training. Fifteen years of violin-playing leaves leaves influences on a mind like hers. They contribute to defining her particular relationship with the world, one of harmony and awareness.
Today, in the peaceful silence of the workshop, the artist she has become is rewarded by every single one of her glass creations. Stained-glass windows with painted patterns, tiles with cement joints, sculptures on plinths and freely inspired subjects (such as the copy of the clown painted by Bernard Buffet or the tribute to Jean-Michel Folon) all represent, for Danielle Yvetot, genuine sources of happiness.
Luis PORQUET, Art Critic