Guéthary, Biarritz, Bayonne, etc. Jean Puiforcat was particularly fond of the Basque Country and its seaside towns. Cannes, Deauville, etc. As a man of the world, he also frequented the beaches in vogue in the 1920s and 30s. These elegant holiday destinations lent their names to flatware collections designed by the silversmith-cum-designer after his passing.
Zermatt flatware in stainless steel
In 2010, the name of an opulent Swiss ski resort, far from the French coast, was chosen for the flatware imagined by architect and designer Patrick Jouin: dubbed Zermatt, his collection of stainless steel utensils reflects the harsh majesty of the Alpine terrain. The knife in particular, a simple metallic monolith with a ridge-like vein, is a direct allusion to the silhouette of Matterhorn, the sharp peak that towers over the Swiss village. And yet all the harshness of the utensil vanishes in the hand: with its handle as an extension of the blade, the knife exhibits its extraordinarily ergonomic design. As for the fork, it was intended by Patrick Jouin as a discrete tribute to Jean Puiforcat: it features three tines, two of which are rounded; the roots – the space separating the tines at their base – are slanted. Simple graphic details reminiscent of the Master's Art Deco sobriety.
Three years later, in 2013, four new “formed” pieces were added to the Zermatt collection, designed by Patrick Jouin around a common theme: Autour de l'eau. A beaker, a pitcher, a vase and a wine bucket: four gleaming vessels built like steel cylinders, with strong, sharp lines and gently flared edges. True to the Zermatt spirit, they all exhibit a deeply mineral elegance.