Two By Two: Interview with France Roy

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France Roy, teacher at L’École de joaillerie de Montréal, is participating in the Résonance exhibition currently being held at the Guilde canadienne des métiers d’art. This exhibition presents works resulting from duo partnerships between teachers and former students. We asked her some questions about her experience.

What does this exhibition mean to you?

This exhibition represents for me a rare opportunity to bring together the work of teachers and graduate students of L’École de joaillerie de Montréal, all of whom come from different backgrounds and training.

The director of the school first instigated the proposal as an activity to celebrate the school’s 40th anniversary. Needless to say, that in this context, an exhibition of this size allows us to enjoy wide visibility as well as create new contacts with major galleries. The public now has the opportunity to appreciate work from a wide array of artists with multiple aesthetics.

Additionally, the gallery la Guilde canadienne des métiers d’art is situated in the same neighbourhood as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, creating a hub for clients who would like to purchase high-end, original creations.


France Roy & Claudia Gravel


How did you select your partner?

I chose Claudia Gravel as an accomplice for this project because she graduated from the first class I taught in 2002 and I was intrigued to discover the path she had taken as an artist; I saw it as an opportunity for us to get to know each other as jewellers.

My hopes in working with Claudia was to find a common base from which our ideas would emerge. In this regard, although we had no intention of planning everything out in advance, we spontaneously and, might I add, easily found common ground. Our working philosophy was that we would leave some room for the unexpected. At our first meeting, we exchanged selected materials from our respective workshops, and from there the concept took on a life of its own.


Cerf-volant, sterling silver, 18k gold
Earrings by Claudia Gravel
Sensualité Un, sterling silver, resin, silk thread
Neckpiece by France Roy


‘’Résonance’’ means to me, an exchange between two people. In terms of ideas, it is an interaction; the resonance that settles in a relationship. A back-and-forth movement that, in the end, creates pieces that share both formal and subtle links. I chose to interpret the theme by taking Claudia’s real pearls as a starting point and from there I created resin pearls. The range of colors developed embraced sensuality, the delicacy of pearls, and needless to say, femininity—which struck me as self-evident. As for the shape, my intention was to give the allusion of winding buds hatching or in the final stage of their lives, both intimately linked. My personal creative process would also therefore be reflected in the slowness of the process.


Conversation fragmentée, sterling silver, carnelian
Neckpiece by Marie-Ève Martin
Conversation fragmentée, sterling silver, amethyst
Neckpiece by Sylvie Langlois


What have you learned from this experience?

The challenge was to make the partnership experience be a source of freedom and not constraint. I believe that we met that challenge. We wanted this project to open up new possibilities all the while still respecting both of us for the individual artists we are. Working in duo gave us the opportunity to observe our respective jewellery design and our techniques from a different point of view, which was rewarding. I think that this experiment led us to pursue more daring concepts.


UNDA, rose and white 14k gold, peridot
Earrings and neckpiece by Antonio Serafino and Ron Crawford

Photos: Anthony McLean


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