SÉBASTIEN SAUZE fell very little into the pot of craftsmanship. At a time when others were playing marbles, he was passionate about welding. And it was in the workshop of his father, Max Sauze, that he learned to carve his first shapes in steel. Shapes which, associated with aluminum slats, have made and still make the reputation of Sauze Luminaires, produced today by the Ekilux company and manufactured by Sébastien..
This is a whole story that the craftsman wanted to revive, that of the “light sculptures” created by his father which, at the end of the 1960s, adorned homes all over the world. “My father is an artist. Trained at the School of Fine Arts in Algiers, he moved to Eguilles in the 1960s. He developed geometric shapes from aluminum elements and incorporated lighting into them, thus giving birth of Sauze lighting. Suspensions, wall lights, table lamps, which are similar to “light sculptures”, quickly enjoyed international success. “Following the 1973 oil crisis, business slowed down considerably and my father stopped producing the lights.” I studied management and IT and worked in different companies, especially in IT systems management. ”
Jobs he uses to run his business today. Because Sébastien has never given up on his first passion. He wanted to take up and above all continue the history of Sauze lighting. “In 2006, I clicked when I saw that my father’s lamps were selling on e-bay. Representative of the movement of the 1970s, they were back in fashion.
Sébastien therefore moved to Lambesc and started producing all of the brand’s best-sellers again, such as the little Orion, but also new models that he imagined and shaped.
True to the spirit that guided the development of the brand: everything is done by hand. From the simplest to the most elaborate of models: manual manipulations cannot be counted in the thousands, and you shouldn’t be fooled by appearances. The simpler the model visually, the more technically complicated it is to make.
“It’s hard to say how long it takes to make a model, but manual work is the heart of my job. For me, it takes that physical commitment to create an object. And you have to do it from start to finish ”. Sébastien therefore realizes his pieces from A to Z.
In his studio, the artist-craftsman designs and manufactures his lights alone, but employs a part-time person for the assembly, especially in high season “There is a season for the light. Sales are mostly done in the fall when the days get shorter until daylight savings time, “explains the craftsman.
Sébastien works mainly with resellers. Its lamps are present in more than 120 decoration professionals, as far as China and New York “. “I also sometimes respond to direct orders from individuals, hotels, institutions that sometimes ask me to decline the lamps in other sizes. Each time, these are challenges ”.
The professional also likes to go to international shows: “I present my models there but I also meet other professionals in the sector”. Because the entrepreneur is always looking for what could facilitate his work without losing quality.
“Essentially, it’s about outsourcing parts that I then use for creation. I try to save time and invent the best systems and of course to innovate ”.
For this, Sébastien invests part of his turnover each year, which varies between 80,000 and 120,000 euros. The entrepreneur is never short of resources or imagination. Like a true “Geo Trouvetout”, he invents new shapes, proposes new colors: “I test a lot, I am very often imagining new things because you have to constantly anticipate. I am constantly looking for perfection, always as simple as possible ”. It is also the hallmark of the Sauze line: unique luminaires, beautiful from the attachment to the bulb. 100% artisanal works whose luminous rendering invites you to travel …
Ekilux SAS, luminaires ligne Sauze. www.lignesauze.fr
06 13 43 69 34
Article published in “Le régional” from March 24 to 30, 2021