Alain Mailland was born on the Ivory Coast and moved with his family back to France when he was five years old. From age twenty to twenty-two, he studied at the National Art School of Cergy-Pontoise. Although he worked as a mason and carpenter in building construction, it was not until he was twenty-eight that he took his first course in woodturning.
He began his own shop specializing in interior woodworking: stairs, cabinetry and verandas. During this time he continued to turn wood as an amateur. In the early 1990’s, Mailland slowly changed his focus from interior carpentry to turning and has since done nothing but lathe work.
Mailland soon developed his own distinctive style and technique, particularly in hollowing. He developed special tools to turn wood flowers, and then used this technique to turn and carve pieces like sea or natural creatures. He uses also off-centering techniques as long as steam bending, texturing and sandblasting. He began showing and selling his work at exhibitions and other craft venues. As his work matured, he continued learning, taking courses with other notable turners such as Andre Martel, Michael Hosaluk, and Terry Martin. He has quickly gained a reputation for his very distinctive work and has been exhibiting and demonstrating internationally. His pieces are shown in many museums in France and USA, along with major collections.
1 – Turning a wood flower, then turning and carving a little tree. Demonstration showing the use of my own “flower tools”.
2 – Turning and carving a carnivore plant (nepenthes), using the Escoulen chuck n°3. Turning, off-centering, hollowing, steam bending, and carving.
Masterclass – Slide show explaining and showing my systems for turning and carving vegetal and marine shapes, along with my personnal techniques for producing off-centered pieces, steam bending, crossed shapes, etc.