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"From Waste to a Piece of Art"

Mylène CAVE modernizes marquetry with contemporary designs using recycled materials. She breathes new life into abandoned furniture by repairing and giving them a fresh artistic identity

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JOURNEY

Mylène CAVE is an international artist based in Namur (Belgium), born in Rheims (France) in 1989. In 2023, she exhibited at the Brussels Houses in Milan and Barcelona, participated at the Maker Faire in Rome, was invited to the Fairespectives Festival at the Palace of Versailles, exhibited at Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London with the Embassy of Belgium and was a nominee for the Sustainable Development Award 2023 at the Womenpreneur Awards.

A former musical director, oboist, and choir conductor, she made a career change by undergoing a 4-year training program at the Fine woodworking School in Montreal, Canada. Her motivation? She wanted to connect with Nature, remain in the realm of art, and work with her hands. Coming from a non-crafting family, having never built anything and knowing absolutely nothing about Canada, she leaped into the unknown to start afresh.

She trained in fine woodworking, cabinetmaking, woodturning, sculpture, finishing, furniture restoration, and discovered the existence of wood marquetry, a discipline she had never heard of before.

Initiating herself into traditional marquetry techniques, it took a certain pandemic marked by lockdowns for her to create a marquetry workshop in her room and explore her desires. Convinced that new technologies can serve craftsmanship (rather than "replace it"), she took the plunge and entered a fablab to start self-taught explorations of laser-cut marquetry.

Two years of research, trial, error, and perseverance were needed to develop her own marquetry techniques with contemporary designs using recycled materials. Taking alternative paths, she created custom board game trays and pregnancy ultrasounds in wood, increasingly developing initiation workshops to showcase the art of marquetry and share her knowledge of woodworking.

Passionate about the reuse of recycled materials and meaningful creations, she also revitalizes abandoned furniture by repairing them and giving them a new artistic identity.

She worked with the designer cabinetmaker Gildas Berthelot to prepare an exhibition at the Art + Design Fair in New York in 2018, trained with Glenn Lucas in woodturning in Ireland, co-created the Avoyage Collective, joined a collective for the transformation of recycled furniture in Montreal, gave initiation workshops since 2019 with Les Affûtés, and began the project of creating the Tarot Ex-Libris in marquetry in collaboration with Audrey since March 2020 (to date, 48 marquetry Arcana have been created).

Full of energy, enthusiasm, and following her intuition, Mylène Cave has already lived several lives: nursing school, oboe prize at the Conservatory, animator and trainer in popular education (France), production and environmental manager at the "Esperanzah!" Festival (Belgium) from 2013 to 2023, musical director, orchestra and choir conductor (France), production manager in cinema and theater (Belgium), administrative assistant in a cooperative of cultural fields (France), barista (Canada & Belgium), cooperative at Consortium cooperative (France), member of the shared workshop L'Ad Hoc in Brussels and the non-profit organization le Hang'Art in Namur, self-taught in video editing and website creation, she finally took the plunge and started her business in February 2023 in Belgium.

Her solar energy comes from the trials she has faced and overcome to become the fulfilled young woman she is now. Aware that she has a gift for realizing her desires, she now puts it at the service of others to help them on their path.

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