Je Dors, Je Travaille - Valentine Schlegel


This astonishingly beautiful book documents the artistic life of a woman who made everything, from sandals to fireplaces. Now in its third—and reportedly final—printing, it’s a collector’s volume that proves endlessly fascinating to creators in every medium.

On the door of Valentine Schlegel’s studio in Sète hangs a reversible two-sided sign: “I’m sleeping” / “I’m working.” These two activities also serve as a structure for this book, which covers fifty years in the personal and professional life of this inspiring artist. Each page can be viewed as a day dedicated to acts variously simple and complex: making a wooden kitchen utensil for mixing jam, taking a nap in a specially designed sleeping compartment, creating an undulating plaster fireplace for a collector’s house, fashioning a whistle in the shape of a siren as a gift for a friend. The sum total of this daily practice is life as art and art as life.

Like the Swiss Army knife of artists, Valentine Schlegel was a master of many techniques, handcrafting objects from the fantastic to the quotidian. Designed without any inherent hierarchy, and often in collaboration with friends, these works include wooden flatware, ceramic vases, and leather bags. Schlegel also created many architectural elements in plaster intended for home interiors. Schlegel’s work was often immovable and thus not included in museum displays, yet was considered too domestic to be regarded as architecture.

Thanks to an extensive iconography of 300 select images, this unique monograph catalogues all the chimneys that Schlegel produced (some one hundred between 1959 and 2002). Other facets of the artist’s work are examined to contextualize her practice, which is closely linked to the way she has chosen to live her life, with independence and friendship as cornerstones.

This book is currently out of print, we have a few remaining copies. 

Not on Amazon
224 pages with color & black-&-white illustrations
In French
19 x 28 cm

We are pleased to offer the option of a free handwritten message on one of our signature gold edged notecards. Enter your text in the "Click here to add any order notes or gift messages” box on the first page of checkout. Notecards are only available to certain products; anything shipped from our rubber stamp warehouse is not eligible for a handwritten notecard, but if you enter a message in the box at checkout it will be printed on the packing slip. 

We are lifelong bibliophiles. Shelves filled with books line our studio walls and more are stacked on every surface. We admire their design, scrutinize their typography, fetishize their paper and analyze their binding. We read them for research, for inspiration, for the sheer pleasure of exploring new worlds of thought and experience.

We have curated a selection of books to offer our audience, based on our interests and yours. Most of our books are limited editions or out of print, they are seldom available in the US, and not available on Amazon. 

The fact that we have now launched our own imprint seems an inevitable extension. Wms&Co. books are created in collaboration with the interesting characters, visionaries and designers we encounter. Subject matter varies wildly but is always infused with the spirit of creativity and a respect for good design.

All books are final sale: non-refundable and non-exchangable. 


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