With her local school in Cotances not offering any artistic courses, she first studied literature. She then studied Fine Art at the University of Upper Brittany where she graduated in 1997. During this course she became acquainted with a fellow pupil who had been to the Ecole Estienne. Her passion stirred and with boundless enthusiasm she subsequently went to the Ecole Estienne. During her years there, Elsa was taught many art forms but it was engraving which attracted her most.
After graduating with honours in the year 2000, Elsa took up a number of jobs in the field of engraving until she sent an open job application letter to the French state printers in 2003. A few months later she was asked for an interview, when the printers were looking for a new engraver. Elsa became employed by the printers in January 2004 and during the following two years was taught the art of engraving by Claude Jumelet and Jacky Larrivière.
Elsa's first engraving for Monaco also dates from 2004, when she engraved the non-postal label with the monogram of Princess Grace of the miniature sheet issued to mark her 75th birth anniversary.
Elsa has said that her inspiration for her work lies both in the classics and the more modern art scene. She loves the work of the masters of old, such as Dürer and Vermeer, but is also fascinated by what digital art can accomplish. In her work, she enjoys the tension of how the traditional art form of hand engraving can be preserved in an ever more digital printing process.
This mixture of classic and modern also comes to the fore in the annual re-issue of classic French stamps, usually coinciding with French stamp shows. These were either non-recess printed at the time or the original master dies are no longer available, so Catelin has been re-engraving these classic designs since 2014. Starting off with France's first stamp, the Ceres design of 1849, she has since re-engraved the Marianne de Dulac design of 1944 and the 1876 Sage stamps. This latter was recreated in both original forms, with J A SAGE INV ending in two different positions.
Most exclusively, Catelin also engraved that famous French airmail stamp from 1936, known as the Burelé. This, however, was not issued as a regular stamp, but only made available as a limited edition sheet in the Treasures of Philately series.
You will find Elsa Catelin's database HERE.