Madeleine Boulesteix was born in Plymouth, Devon. She studied at the local art school and at Goldsmiths College, London where contemporaries included Damien Hirst. Although Boulesteix worked with a wide range of materials on a broad based textiles course whilst at Goldsmiths, she did not find her happiest way of working until after leaving, when she rediscovered her childhood enjoyment of making things.
She has undertaken numerous commissions for bars and restaurants in London, as well as private clients. In 1999 she was included in Reclaimed, an exhibition exploring the use of recycled materials in contemporary British design. In 2002 she was commissioned by the British Council to make a chandelier for the British Council office in Brussels. The artist explains:
I started making chendeliers after finding forty glass drops in a pile of rubbish. I prefer to work with things I've found and let their qualities dictate what happens. I usually start working with a really simple set of ideas, a colour combination, a shape, and the pieces I want to use but right from the beginning the objects develop their own character and I just follow.
I find trifle moulds and crinkly pastry cutters very humorous. Toast racks are perhaps the most absurd - what better way to cool down your toast too quickly. Many of the objects I use have a very limited use in my kitchen but in my studio it's another story. Suddenly they have enormous potential. I have always admired inventiveness. I love the articulated toy cars that African and Indian children make. In the punk era a big zip could be used as a tie, an old kettle as a handbag, a bunch of safety pins a stunning brooch. Recycling was born from need but coupled with a human desire to create, reinvent and entertain. I like to think my work is part of this age-old tradition.