In Cormeilles (Eure), in the workshop of master glassmaker Cyril Gouty, founded 14 years ago in a former printing press where the tracts of the Liberation of Paris were published, Dimitri Cremer skillfully applies his salts to glass. He has become a specialist in “silver yellow” or “Evreux yellow” which illuminates certain stained glass windows at the slightest ray of sunlight. “Like the blue of Chartres Cathedral, it is so named because, in Évreux, we are lucky to have remarkable sets of stained glass windows among the first to have used this color. These are exceptional creations that have been taken up throughout the region and elsewhere. »
Fruit of the marriage of clay and metallic salts, the yellow of Evreux appeared in the 14th century. Going to the right gesture, Dimitri Cremer owes it today to his boss, the master glassmaker Cyril Gouty. “Because unlike the days when the recipes were secret, when there was no transmission, which almost caused the profession to disappear, here we train apprentices like Ivanhoé Boissin, who won the medal in 2022. Gold for Best Apprentice in France. »
At 60% installed in religious buildings, the stained glass windows are made up of pieces of white and colored glass then painted. “I chose this profession precisely for drawing, explains Dimitri Cremer, master painter on stained glass, trained in CERFAV, the European glass center near Nancy and passionate about research on ancient techniques. Here, we operate in the five departments of Normandy and in the Paris region. »
Over the years, the craftsman has become a specialist in grisailles for opaque renderings, enamels for bright colors and cementations mainly used for shading, from which precisely the yellow of Evreux springs. “Even if we don’t know the inventor, says Dimitri Cremer, what interested and still interests master glassmakers are the possible variations, the intensities from lemon to amber. We manage to restore and create brilliant works. »
Not so simple though. The master painters must first act as chemists by mixing the powder to the nearest gram, apply it to the reserved parts, bake the glass at 680°C for less than three hours, then scrape to reveal the result: “c’ is a precision craft. Applied archaeology, because I always look for the gestures of yesteryear. It is a work of adaptation. The only solution is to test.