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opener4I started following Tristan Mausse through his blog back when he was glassing for the French brand UWL. Shortly after he left Europe with his girlfriend to travel the world, and they settled down for an extended surf/work trip in Australia, (…)

(…) where he worked for several shapers while showing his paintings in a few art galleries. On his return to France he moved south to Biarritz, where he has been busy making art and glassing beautiful boards for some very renowned shapers. In a few weeks he is opening his own glassing business in Anglet (Creamy Glassing) and I decided it was a good moment to finally meet him and find out more about this very young (21) artist:

(Tristan) I became very interested in surfing from a very young age, like 8 or 9, at the same time as I started skateboarding. But I obviously didn’t have any money for a board so I could only surf in summer on borrowed boards… or skate. When I was 15 I started an apprenticeship in carpentry. With my first salary I finally managed to buy my very first board board, an old “Hawaiian Juice” and since then I’ve been surfing every week, basically at Ile de Ré and Ile d’Oléron.


Where do you surf normally these days? And what type of board?

These days I surf in the Anglet/Biarritz/Bidart area. I love it! I normally ride retro boards; I’m a big fan of them. I love beautiful boards and odd boards that are made to glide… just as long as they have good glass jobs.


What’s your current job?

I’m a freelance glasser and I work wherever I’m offered a job. Currently I split my time between two places. I work with Daniel’s Longboards – he’s a good friend of mine and, like myself, a fan of all things retro. I also work with Fabrice Morous at Blend Glassing, from whom I’ve learnt a lot (thanks Fab!). And now I’m about to open my own little glassing business in Anglet that will specialize in glassing, tints and polishes.

You have a blog devoted to mini-simmons boards. That is actually how I found out about you first. Where does your interest in these boards come from? Have you surfed any?

About three years ago I found photos of mini-simmons on different blogs. They were the very first that were being shaped, by Joe Bauguess and McCallum. I fell in love with the design, the concept, the shape. Not long after a friend of mine from UWL and myself wanted to have one shaped, so with Renaud Cardinal we started researching the fins (that I made) and we shaped the very first one that we both fell in love with. Since then that’s is the only board I ride except when I use a log. As far as I am concerned the mini-simmons are far better than the fishes.

As a European glasser who has worked for different Australian shapers, what are your thoughts regarding the way they approach their art? Is the average shaping level very different between Europe and Australia?

From my experience in Australia I’ve learned a lot, both personally and professionally. That has motivated me a lot and pushed me to open my own little business. Australia was definitely a very important experience for me. Clearly you’ve got many more board makers in Australia than in France, everywhere I worked they demanded the very highest level possible, sometimes they were extremely touchy about this. But they are very good and they make a very good job. Having said that I think you can find some very good boardmakers in France too, and they are producing a superb job. The potential is awesome.

What shapers have you glassed for?

Renaud Cardinal (UWL, T&C hawaii, Sharp Eye, Classic Malibu, Bob Cooper…); Rhino Laminating (Channel Islands, Steve O’donell, Campbell Brothers, Mike Psillakis); Sean Wilde, Aido (Rusty), Michael Cundith (George Greenough), North Coast Surfboards (Bear Surfboards, Donald Takayma, Rooster, Dick Brewer, Dick Van Straalen…), Peter White (Classic Malibu), Axel Lorentz, Daniel’s Longboards, Blend Glassing (Channel Islands, Billabong, Zaka, Chris Christenson, Josh Hall…)…


Who has impressed you the most and why?

Renaud Cardinal (UWL) without a doubt. He is an excellent shaper, a lovely guy, very passionate about his job, from whom I’ve learnt a lot and he’s a role model for me.


When looking at your art one is surprised that it’s got nothing to do with what we could call “classic surf art”… but you are showing your paintings in real surf meccas and some of it on surfboards. Do people from these places accept it easily or they are rather reluctant to move away from traditional surf art?

You are right, my paintings have very little “classic surf art” in it… if any at all. It’s more my “skate and rock’n roll” side that comes out. But I think that it’s been quite well accepted. On the other hand, when I’m making a board for myself I’d rather do a nice resin tint than one of my paintings.


Art influences? Graffiti?

Sure, 100% street art and graffiti. There are plenty of artists that I love dearly and that inspire me such as Dulk, Morning Breath, Koa, Thomas Campbell, Alexone…


Finally: where can we see your paintings?

At the UWL gallery. Also at Spacejunk in Bayonne and the Retrospect Galleries in Byron Bay (Australia). And also on some decks from Rekiem Skateboards.


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