Born and raised near Paris France, I obtained a master’s degree in chemistry and PhD in polymer science and worked in the chemical industry for a number of years. At one point I decided to see if the grass was greener in California and landed in Los Gatos CA in 2000 with my wife and two teen daughters. I joined a pre-IPO company in material science discovery. Shortly thereafter I co-founded Ilypsa, a polymeric drug company in Santa Clara that was acquired by Amgen in 2007. In 2008 I co-founded Ardelyx and became its CSO: this is now a public company specialized in renal care. I retired early in 2014 having brought three commercial drugs to renal patients.
Woodworking has always been present in my life albeit at a modest level while in France, living a small apartment and without a shop. That changed drastically upon my retirement: we bought a large house in Napa CA, where I set shop in a one-car garage and started making dust in earnest.
As starters, I took a couple of classes at William Ng woodworking in Anaheim to learn chair constructions 101. I stayed a week at the Thos Moser company in their “Customer in Residence” program where I shadowed cabinet makers.
My first inspiration came from a French designer and woodworker Pierre Chapo (http://www.chapo-creation.com/en/welcome/) who made massive modern furniture mostly in elm with his signature joinery. I started making my own version of those. Thos Moser has also been a great influence, and I cut my teeth making copies of his bed, bedside tables, chair, etc,…
During a visit at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, I came across a collection of Art Nouveau furniture’s and it left a profound impression on me: I loved the fluidity of the curves, sculptures and incredible craftmanship. Since then, this style has been a great influence in my work in the production of chairs, table, showcase, cabinet and even marquetry. Besides woodworking on my dwindling free time, I ride my bike in the Napa vineyards and play drums.