To get to school, Hervé Wales (pronounced “Valess”) used to pass in front of a carpentry workshop. Whether it was the lovely smell of wood, the meticulous work of the carpenter or the serenity of the workshop, by 6 years old, Hervé had decided to be a cabinetmaker.

His parents encouraged him to fulfil his ambition buying him his first tools and his first wood to work on. Having left his native south to escape the summer heatwave, he chose the more temperate climate of Mayenne where he also met his wife. Providence led him to a workshop with centuries-old walls, that of the carpenter monks of the Abbey of Port-du-Salut in Entrammes. 

Herve Wales Ebeniste Atelier De L'abbaye Stage Travail Du Bois
Hervé Wales

Cabinetmaking is a wonderful trade, that takes you all your life to learn, but will never make you rich. So many hours are needed to get the perfect result but if you do a good job, you will never be short of work to do.

Hervé loves
  • Being patient
  • Excellence
  • Teaching

Estampille Slowlydays

Hervé restores antique furniture in solid, veneered or inlaid wood, produces stylish furniture and creates contemporary pieces:

It’s always tailor-made. You have to listen to the customer, know his habitat, immerse yourself in his universe in order to be able to offer something coherent, harmonious and functional for his living space.

It’s always a question of dialogue with the client.”

For the future of this profession, which is less and less common, he has developed a range of internships (he is a qualified teacher), giving courses in furniture restoration, fabrication, marquetry, woodturning and an introduction to wood carving:

I have always been keen to pass on my knowledge, skills and techniques, both to those who want to learn the trade and to those who want to make it a hobby. I train apprentices and sometimes people in their thirties or forties who have decided to find a new profession. It takes patience of course, as well as curiosity and a desire to learn.”

You too can take a short discovery course for a few days or a week “in a real working workshop with all atmosphere.” In this old monastic workshop, being inducted into the art of cabinetmaking is a little like entering a religious order!

Hervé's favourite place in

Ferme Haute Mayenne

“I like the“old” Mayenne, which is particularly well-preserved. In the north of the département in particular, you can still feel the harmony between the beautiful landscapes and the traditional buildings of the farms and towns.”

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