Meet The Maker: Bertrand Jayr

Bertrand Jay Pelican story

Hi Bertrand,  tell us about your discipline and where you are based?

I am Bertrand Jayr and I live and work in Lyon, France. I am an independent artist and product designer. I graduated from l’Ecole d’Art Appliqué in Lyon, France after following a four year course of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design. The school has now merged with Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts. I am profoundly connected to the city of Lyon, where I was born, raised and have evolved. The city is my anchoring point as a cultural model and my identity reference. This aspect has been the determining factor for my personal and professional evolution.

Positioning: Witnessing life. Exploring the shortcomings of our society with lightness in a game of intentional seriousness. Include a sort of evidence in my works that somehow deletes the object for the benefit of the idea. Create a subtle shift, a dialogue between fiction and reality in order to arise a reflection by interpellation.

Bertrand office / Pelican story

What’s your pelican story - what inspired you to start making?

I enjoy making objects speak. I was a very shy and reserved kid. As long as I can remember, my favourite way of expressing myself was by plastic expression instead of talking.

A designer can apply an artistic approach in the development of his works, but he must keep in mind that the approach and the final product are two different entities. In general, I think that the process of creating is identical for many different specialities.

For me, seen from a purely artistic viewpoint, the technicality on its own cannot stand alone but is a useful means for the accomplishment of the final object. It is at the service of the idea behind. I have always distinguished and privileged “express” and “do”.  In addition, my “way of doing” becomes my “way of expressing”. To me, it is the intention that directs the act. I don’t know how other artists get their ideas, but mine mostly appear by a trivial reflection somewhere in my brain and hereby calls for my memory.  The idea takes form and it simply persists or subsists. This is where I describe it in writing. The artistic writing seeds for the process of elaboration (experimentation and realisation) which is merely a simple implementation and a phase of pure execution.

workshop bertrand jay pelican story

As a maker, do you have any questions you ask yourself before making a new piece or launching a new line? 

I do not impose any restrictions on my work except that my message should be universal and understood all over the world.

Which direction do you see yourself going in the future?

Right now, I am engaged in a new creative phase with Lyon Béton with whom I collaborate as artist and independent designer. Lyon Béton and I intend to continue this collaboration and we are far from having said our last word yet in terms of design.

What are the ingredients for great design and what's really exciting you at the moment in design?

Innovative design is a messenger of sense, both shy and talkative while uniting creativity and use. The sensible design brings poetry, humour and singularity to objects, which mostly are without these qualities.

I am greatly influenced by Conceptual Art mostly of social or environmental character. My sources are multiple and evolve over time. Sometimes I can evolve outside the box of conventional art.

bertrand jay pelican story

Who inspires you creatively outside of homewares and design?


If you weren't a maker, what would you be doing?

Maybe pastry cooking, why not? 

Favourite cities, places or people for inspiration?

I need the urban environment and the architectural inspiration, but I also need to connect to nature. I find both very stimulating. 

I need to be surrounded by people as well as needing solitude in order to be able to create.

Can't live without ...

Thinking about new ideas.

Should live without ...

Thinking about new ideas all the time.

Any final words?

Thank you for the opportunity to feature on your page. Your articles are of great relevance and I really like your editorial style. Long live pelican story and thank you for including me.

Pauline Coghlan