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The father’s legacy

Martin Spreng / Portrait / The father’s legacy
Son of German sculptor Blasius Spreng, Martin spent uncountable hours in his father's studio. He is also the grandson of a wood-sculptor and of an architect on his mother's side. So how could he not embark upon a creative path?
Blasius Spreng, Kuntzhalle Stuttgart

Curiously, as an adolescent – and perhaps looking to escape the influence of his father – Martin chose to study biochemistry, a subject that quickly proved too abstract for his manual-focused creative character. Perhaps the apple never falls far from the tree because he then began walking in his father’s footsteps. It is to be noted that Martin’s father, before passionately embracing sculpture, exercised the profession of… jewelry designer!

“Throughout my childhood, I saw fine gold jewelry being created and crafted. My father designed the pieces and then had them made by goldsmiths”

At a crossroads, Martin Spreng hesitated awhile between doing a goldsmith internship or moving closer to the sculptural activities of his elder. After much thought – and motivated by the appeal of expressing his creativity on much larger surfaces than the minuscule ones of jewelry – he opted for wood-working and began apprenticing in a Munich-based ebenist studio where he spent two enriching years before setting out for France.

France was already a familiar place to him, thanks to his francophone and franco-fan grandmother whose enthusiasm had inspired Martin to graduate from French-language high school. He had also spent many vacations in France since adolescence.

Blasius Spreng, gold bracelet

So many elements that paved the way for him to integrate two of the most renowned woodworking studios in the historical Faubourg Saint-Antoine furniture-making quarter. Taught by veritable masters, he learned all the trade secrets of making state-of-the-art copies of antique furniture and notably how to sculpt and inlay wood: two disciplines he was soon to master.

Philippe Dayan
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