_Workshop Introduction: Pascal De Braekeleer

Every step in the hand making process has to be carefully conducted: boring, welding, filing, engraving, chiseling, adjusting, polishing, degreasing and decorating. Especially the very last procedure, adding the finishing layer, has great importance for the final look. For 35 years, Pascal De Braekeleer has been responsible for this crucial completion act.

My job is to add the final colour so I’m responsible for the end result (...)

After polishing, the workpiece ends up with us. The first degrease involves treating the piece via ultrasonic cleaning. Then it dives into several acid baths to obtain the desired patina. I prepare the acid baths manually, this is purely traditional work. After oxidation, the piece goes into the varnish booth to fix the colour. For gilding, we use the electrolysis technique again.

Pascal De Braekeleer

As everyone else entering the workshop, he started out as a filer, just 16 years old. In addition, during particular busy periods, he would help out with the finishings and after a couple of years, he was asked to become the main responsible for this function. 

He took evening classes in metalwork to improve his skills, but he gained a soft spot for the final treatment process. Though trained by his previous supervisor, he also sees himself as self-taught, testing out considerably in the workshop and introducing several new proprietary patinas. The kind of curiosity and expertise which open up to innovation and creative customisation possibilities.

Photo Maisonvervloet Jp5657
Photo Maisonvervloet Jp5388
Photo Maisonvervloet Jp5688

His favourite piece? Number 776 - an Empire-style door handle and keyhole rosette, gilded and in the shape of a feather.

Based on an interview by Brussels Mag, all photos by Justin Paquay