The annual end-of-year exhibition is just around the corner, culminating a year unlike any other. Until the presentation of the exhibition ‘Jouer avec le feu’, which will soon be held at Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, we invite you to explore each of our nine graduating jewellery students’ artistic vision. Each one having developed her own artistic language as well as affinities with materials and forms, we are delighted to see how far they have come over the last few years, ever since their first solders!
« The beautiful is always strange »
« From repulsion arises fascination »
These two sentences have in common that they associate terms that appear to be contrary. I try to combine the beautiful and the ugly, the past and the present, the rustic and the refined. I appreciate these contrasts because the marriage of two opposites brings out the respective qualities of each.
In the primitive era, jewellery was often made from animal bones, served as protective talismans or demonstrated the wearer’s social status. Today, jewellery is made mainly from precious metals and stones cut with the greatest precision.
My present collection, entitled “Human Nature”, combines the aesthetics of ancient jewellery with that of contemporary jewellery. The use and the combination of pieces of raw or carved bone and horn, metal marked with checkerboard patterns demonstrating human beings’ fondness for ornamentation, as well as finely cut stones, gives my pieces an aesthetic that is both archaic and contemporary. The juxtaposition of all these elements evokes the evolution of jewellery over time.
I created this collection as an homage to human nature, because human beings have always decorated themselves with adornments and jewellery, whether for aesthetic, political, social or esoteric reasons. This ancestral practice has certainly evolved but it has stood the test of time and I am proud to be an heir of this tradition.
La nature humaine, brooch. Sterling silver, tourmaline, bone, steel
I love when an object tells a story. For me, it is important to infuse life and a story into my works. That is why I am so inspired by the world around us, whether by using materials from our Mother Earth or listening to the oral traditions of our ancestors. The collection ‘From one Wicked to Another’ was made to commemorate my own journey. It is an ode to mental health, which is evoked through the universe of magic and tarot, this tool of introspection whose symbolism is found in my work.
Each piece represents an arcana from the Tarot de Marseille.
The nine of swords represents anguish. Anxiety, the stress that follows us like a shadow and haunts our daily lives. As for the tower, it represents our collapsing personal foundations. Without anything familiar around us, panic and even isolation sets in. Then comes The Hermit, the feeling of solitude, the moment when one wanders the world with their only companion; a lantern. The Devil represents our inner demons and makes us forget that not only the physical world is important. Our appearance, the image that we project in front of others, our assets are worth nothing compared to our feelings and peace of mind towards ourselves. Finally, the auspicious Sun warms our cold and rocky road. Greenery is coming back, plants are growing, people are happier and we feel lighter.
I like combining the coldness and immutability of sterling silver with the softness and warmth of the body. Just like the contrast between the hardness of the skeleton and the flexibility of tendons or muscles.
Ever since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by science. It is a subject I am eager to learn about, especially in order to know about the complex ways in which the body works. How bones slide into joints and how the skin bears the weight of the body.
Jewellery is traditionally placed around strategic points of the body: the neck, the chest, the wrist, the heart… Those are fragile parts, where you can decipher heartbeats and, anciently, which we would try to protect. My work aims at highlighting this frailness of the body that hides just beneath the skin.
My jewellery is part of a process of accepting and celebrating my own body. Despite its flaws, I exist as a person and thrive in this profession that I love thanks to this body. My work demonstrates the creative power that it contains and which is so important to me.
À contrecœur, brooch. Oxydized sterling silver, silver 820, fresh water pearls
Gabrielle Chanel once said: “I chose what I wanted to be and I am. ” Having always maintained a taste for elegance, luxury, avant-garde, refinement, and fine jewellery, I oriented my career very early on following my admiration for this visionary and inspiring designer.
My jewellery stands as a a tribute to Gabrielle Chanel by reflecting passion, rigor and singularity. My pieces are uncluttered, elegant, minimalist, modern and functional. I paid particular attention to the balance of pieces, to ensure that each jewel’s outer beauty reflects its inner beauty. For me, it is the details that make the difference and the beauty of a piece.
My works are inspired by the codes employed by Coco Chanel, which I interpret in my own way: the Camellia, Chanel’s emblem as a synonym of absolute purity; wheat, her lucky charm; the ribbons, signature elements of her style revealing a natural elegance; the four-leaf clover (hidden and visible only on the reverse side of the necklace), a symbol of luck for the very superstitious Gabrielle; the number 5, her mythical number which she named her first perfume with; and the pearls she wore on a daily basis on long necklace …
I like to create paradoxes that give balance to my jewellery: the softness of a pearl with the hardness of metal, mirror-polished gold with oxidized silver, the curves of rings with very straight and geometric shapes, the flexibility of forged metal with the rigidity of other elements, which as a whole brings life to the pieces.
When developing and designing my jewellery, my thoughts are focused on the articulations, on flexibility, so that each piececan blend in with the movements of the person wearing it. For me, jewellery only comes to life when worn, just like haute couture garments, and its goal is to reveal or accentuate the personality of the person wearing it.
A word taken from the nearly eponymous literary work of Monique Wittig, ‘guerrillère’ is a contraction of a female warrior and the word “guerrilla”. The tone of my collection suggests climbing on horseback, with your chin parallel to the ground, and the sand whipping your calves.
“[…] there was a time where you were not a slave, remember that. You walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it, remember. The wild roses flower in the woods. Your hand is torn on the bushes gathering the mulberries and strawberries you refresh yourself with. […] You know the winter fear when you hear the wolves gathering. […] Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.”
Monique Wittig, Les Guérillères, translated from the French by David Le Vay, originally published by Les Editions de Minuit, 1969. In English by Beacon Press, 1985. ©2007 /ubu editions pp.53-55
Chainmail on the back of the neck, a protectionfrom betrayal, both precious collarbones sheltered with lapis lazuli spikes – apotropaic piece of the queen – carefully carved, allowing three rolls of chain to fall on the chest, closing the necklace in a metaphoric trinity. Spikes, but also cones and domes: symbolic triangles and circles as shelters, temples, containers, nurturing breasts.
Jewellery worn as talismans to go on with this nomadic life, with the serene certainty that one does not know what tomorrow will be made of.
Eyes staring at the movements of the cardinal points, fueled by ancient silversmithing art and timeless charms as much as from feminist science-fictions, all roads led me to this deessist exploration. The aspect blurs the origin, whispering dateless forms and subjects that survive us.
May wearing those jewels make you proud as if you had just been tattooed, facing the horizon with an everlasting light narrowing your eyes.
A passionate of all cinematographic and literary fantastic universes, my work is inspired by that magical world. The collection ‘Dryadalis’, the latin word for elf, is inspired by the reign of the elves, creatures from the woods and water. The elven aesthetic can be noticed in the different parts of my necklace, which recall lianas and branches twisted with flowers and leaves. As for my bracelet and rings, it is the floral and lunar aspects that have been represented.
I design and make jewellery pieces that can be worn in different ways, using articulations and mechanisms which do not alter the aerial aesthetic of each creation. In that way, the wearer can decide how to wear the jewellery piece in order to match their style.
My work demonstrates my interest in high-end jewellery. It is inspired by nature’s wonders. Thus, the delicacy of the pieces expresses the softness of majestic moments, such as the panoramic view of the setting sun on the horizon of paradisiac islands. The pearls, in different shades of orange, as well as the yellow gold rings evoke the colors of the sky and the sea at sunset. The dominant presence of the twisted silver wires refers to the sea knots and adds a touch that makes the jewel shine like the sparkles of the water shimmering in the sunlight. In addition, I included the four-leaf clover motif because it represents the influence a loved one had on me, resulting in my choice of path as a future jeweler. Therefore, the four-leaf clover symbolizes my own luck.
Designed with silver wire : the timeline is shaped amidst control and accident
‘Praise of Matter’ falls within a process of upholding manual and esthetic craftsmanship skills. The integration of ceramic elements within this piece of jewellery allows to draw from several trades towards the elaboration of a single piece of art, so to expand onto the creation of potential exploration fields beyond the conventional frontiers between artistic disciplines. The updating of manual expertise lies within a process of attributing new and renewed appreciation to craftsmanship, in an era where most of our manual gestures and actions are becoming increasingly foreign to us, or perhaps even nonexistent. The act of MAKING is thus for me an act of advocacy.
In this pursuit of traditional beauty, form in its purest state is the starting point of a creative process which is complexified as its different layers are added on. A dialogue arises between ceramic and silver, both noble materials due to their timelessness, both born from the earth, and both needing the heat of fire in order to be transformed and elevated to the status of artistic pieces. Ceramic evokes sensitivity, the hands’ direct contact with the material without the intermediaries of tools, and it refers to our primitive origins. Following closely is the meticulous process of metal working derived from the metallurgy era, with the use of a few specific tools.
In this body of work, silver grain is transformed into wire that is simultaneously flexible and rigid. Thanks to its malleability, it allows to build several small portable sculptures, lightweight and resistant, which are articulated and arranged with one another. The assembly between the metal and clay elements allows for the arrangement between clean-lined geometric structures with more colourful and organic shapes . A poetic tension is created amid hardness and softness, robustness and lightness, all of which are held in a precarious balance.
My work is inspired by what I find esthetic and poetic. Nature and folklore are aesthetics that I am very fond of and that have always followed me since I was a little girl. Guided by these universes, I construct my pieces by working with metal through controlled improvisation.
The notion of movement is very important in my work, and it is through techniques such as forging and fusion that I aim to suggest movement. Intense and unpredictable, fusion is one of the techniques I use the most. Working with materials directly, my pieces are the result of my impact on metal. My own control is counterbalanced by the properties of the material I am working with. The forms I create evoke the movements of a dancing flame and echo the processes used to create them.
Photos: Anthony McLean