After a traditional learning of cabinetwork turning (table legs, style, balusters …) made in 1972, Jean-François Escoulen is moving gradually towards the creation of unique pieces. His mastery of thin turning and eccentric turning led him to share his knowledge worldwide. His encounters with turners of different countries gave him the opportunity to refine techniques and creations.
From 2010 to 2016, highlights of this experience and his national and international reputation, Jean-François Escoulen and his wife Monique Escoulen, cabinetmaker, have been asked by the Aiguines municipality to start the woodturning school Jean-François-Escoulen.
The school location is housed in a building of 1200 m², old holiday camp, acquired in 2004 by the municipality, and made available to the association that governs school.
At the heart of this establishment, of course, a workshop. And what a workshop ! On a surface of 160 m², fifteen workstations, each with a recent wood lathe, and a complete set of specialized tools for wood turning. In an adjoining room, a machinery workshop for the preparation of wood (band saw, planer, sander, etc.). A total of over 300 tools – exceptional number – that the school provides trainees.
We also found two other workshops. One, additional to the woodturning workshop, is intended for sculpture. The second is designed to accommodate, for a year, a trainee at the end of training, so that he can start his activity while remaining supported by the school.
Twelve rooms are available for students who would like to sleep on site, a cooking room allows them to take their meals in a friendly atmosphere.
For studious hours, a library dedicated to woodturning and wood in general (French and foreign editions, technical documentation, art books, journals…),and equipped with a workstation computer.
The trainings are provided by French or foreign professionals recognized for their quality. Yann Marot, woodturner installed in Aiguines, is the school referent trainer since 2015. Employers and funding bodies help to support the training provided.
Each year a comprehensive training program is developed, allowing everyone to learn or improve in woodturning, durring hobby moments sometimes, but especially for professional purposes. Two types of qualifying training are proposed : six months of the year are devoted to short courses (1 week or more), the other six months are devoted to a long training to become a wood turner (700 hours of teaching).
The school hosts also major events, such as the woodturning annual symposium “Les Petites Journées d’Aiguines” or a collaboration seminary between different arts & crafts “Le Grand Atelier” in partnership with AFTAB and AAF.