The Magic Behind Maison Balzac, Interview with Founder Elise Pioch
Based between Sydney and France, Maison Balzac founder and designer creates homewares that surprise and delight, and her glassware is new to the Archie Rose online Shop this year. We chat with Elise about entertaining, cocktails, and the beauty of hand-blown glass.
The experience of drinking, not just the drink itself, is important to Archie Rose, is it the same for Maison Balzac? How so?
For Maison Balzac it is the importance of filling the home with meaningful objects which bring joy to the senses. We believe in not only the quality of the drink but the vessel in which the drink is poured into which will change the way you experience the act. We all agree that sipping a cocktail from a pink glass will add extra pleasure, right?
Can you describe the Maison Balzac design philosophy?
Our design process is very intuitive, it is based on childhood memories and beauty that we see in small details. Our philosophy is that if it makes us smile, then it is good enough to be added to our collections.
Maison Balzac started off with candles and has now extended into the most beautiful homewares range. Was this expansion always the plan?
My approach to life is to take it one day at a time, so initially when I first launched the brand I did have the plan to just launch the five candles which were inspired by my happy childhood with my family in the South of France. Although in saying this, I am a prolific creative and when I decided on calling the brand Maison Balzac (Home of Balzac), the intention was to grow into different categories of the home in time. I am evolving within the walls of my imagination!
How would you describe the Maison Balzac approach to party glassware? Where do you start with each new design?
I tend to think about the table setting as a whole and imagine what the table would need in terms of necessities like party glassware for example. From here I envision how the glassware would accessorise the table. I love pairing unexpected colours and taking a risk on design features where possible, such as the coloured glass fruit or pompom balls. It has to be unusual, unexpected and playful.
What was the inspiration behind these glasses in particular?
The pomponette coupes were designed in a way to show sparkling Champagne bubbles bouncing out of the glass and onto the side of the glass! Something quirky yet elegant and a design which I had drawn in my notebook and kept since 2019 but needed to wait for the right time to launch, which evidently was the perfect time!
What do you love to serve guests to drink?
We offered the 1642 cocktail to each guest on the night of the launch of our candle 1642, created in collaboration with Doctor Cooper. It’s such an easy, delicious recipe. It went down a treat.
Giffard violet cordial
White wine (cold)
Pour 1/10th of cordial in one of our Pompom wine glasses, add 9/10th of cold white wine. Stir with a spoon and drink up!
Another easy and refreshing drink to serve to friends in summer is the Elise which I love to serve in our Champagne coupes!
The Elise Cocktail
Cinzano Bianco (cold)
Cloudy apple juice (cold)
Pour 1/4 Cinzano bianco in one of our Champagne Coupe, add 3/4 cloudy apple juice and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon powder. Drink immediately!
*Are you a gin, vodka or whisky drinker, mostly? *
Portrait of Elise: Dijana Risteska
Styled product imagery: Peter van Alphen
Styling: Nat Turnbull