Miquel Matas Ferrer

La Paille et le Feu

With Après Ski

'La Paille et le Feu' Lamp — The Sun. In the religious traditions of the Mediterranean region, the sun is considered a sovereign god, moving up to the top of the sky up on a chariot hauled by fiery horses and with well-defined functions: illuminate, warm, and purify. Popular and peasant French beliefs, derived from Celtic traditions, consider the sun as a god or character close to the earth and men, to the extent that, sometimes it might be confused with the ancient animist principle by which human behaviour is identified with celestial phenomena such as stars, winds, rainbows and clouds.

La Paille et le Feu is the name of the celebration of Saint John’s Eve in the French region of Alsace: music, bonfires and hats with roses are the elements used to celebrate the summer solstice and the power of the sun. Traditionally, the women of the village would sew roses to wide-brimmed hats that men would wear afterwards to jump over the bonfire. This one, settled on a nearby hill, burned all night and people would dance in circles around it, imitating the rotation of the sun. At the end of the ceremony, with the piles of glowing embers still smoking, the youngest would go downhill back to the village enthusiastically shouting towards the starry sky.

– Text based on ‘The sun in traditional French culture, Jacques Lacarrière’.

La Paille et le Feu is a lamp edited by Après Ski and Miquel Matas Ferrer. The base is made of terracotta from La Bisbal d’Empordà and its lamp shade is assembled by hand using French old linen. The ground and the sun. A lamp inspired by the peasant sun celebrations, to illuminate and warm our homes.

A collaboration between Lucía Vergara (Après Ski) and Miquel Matas Ferrer dedicated to the search and curation of limited edition handmade objects, focusing on culture and popular crafts.

— Object, 2021