The graduation exhibition is coming soon! This year, the exhibition will take place in the beautiful and inspiring space of the Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h located at 4836 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Until then, we invite you to discover the creative universe of the thirteen graduates of the jewelry college program, offered in partnership with the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal.
It is a real pleasure to see their evolution as artists. Each one of them has developed their own artistic language in addition to handling materials and forms in their own way, representing their vision of jewelry.
I see contemporary jewellery as ”wearable art” and therefore the most intimate of all arts. I value the artistic expertise, the ”slow art” approach and a thoughtfully developed idea behind every piece of jewellery. My creativity is nourished by diverse urban environment, symbolic and poetic visions, European culture and archaeology.
I prefer to work with silver and bronze, various gems historically used in European jewellery, whimsically patterned stones of different kinds, pearls, found objects, glass and wood. I work a lot with lost wax technique, fusion, surface treatments of metals. These choices let me elaborate the ideas and include cultural references into my art in a metaphoric and multidimensional manner.
For me, making jewellery by hand has above all the civilization values to treasure and preserve. It’s also about feeling the connection with the ancient artisan patrimony that I cherish as precious heritage.
Heritage collection. La Demeure de l’Esprit necklace. Sterling silver, ziricote and amaranth wood, rutilated quartz, transparent quartz, patinated copper and grape agate
Maria Teresa Parra Belandria
My first inspiration comes from the interest I have in the human being. The exploration of its depth and complexity challenges me more than anything else. Thus, I am interested in knowledge in all its forms.
In connection with my graduation project, I first wanted, from a technical point of view, to put all my jewellery learning to work on the same project. My collection reflects these skills that represent life and is composed of a necklace, a bracelet, and a hair clip.
In a more conceptual way, the shapes and elements of the centrepiece, the necklace, symbolize the postures I wanted to evoke. Thus, the intertwined and crocheted threads allude to the multiple paths each of us must travel to reach our ultimate destiny. The destinies are evoked by symbols sculpted and positioned inside the domes. These domes open to evoke the power of the doors that reveal or not what lies behind.
Five destinies, the most representative for me, are thus illustrated: family, solitude, life, death, and spirituality located in the door of the central element of the necklace. Interchangeable and removable, the destinies have the power to move from one door to another, evoking the possible changes of trajectory.
Vie collection. S.T necklace. Sterling silver, 14k gold and triplet opals
I have been making jewellery full time for the past four years and strive daily to hone my skills as a jeweller in order to offer superior quality jewellery to my clients. My artistic background, great curiosity and diverse interests have shaped my unique style: sometimes clean and inspired by the beauty of nature, embellished with carefully selected gemstones, sometimes by the geometry, textures and lines of modern architecture and other times by the industrial side of cities, the taste for grandeur and even urban art and graffiti. Even though my style is recognizable through my pieces, they always stand out from each other. I achieve this through attention to detail.
I really appreciate traditional fine jewellery, mainly for its technical side, as it offers pieces with impeccable workmanship. The devotion to quality, the complexity of the pieces and the attention to detail of classic fine jewellery are very much in line with my values. I also have a great interest in contemporary jewellery which feeds my creative side. My studies in visual arts have taught me to explore more and more, whether it be in terms of techniques, materials or different styles. I strive to do the same with jewellery. For me, this is the key to a fulfilling career and the antidote to losing interest. This ongoing exercise has led me over the past two years to exploit graffiti and street art in my pieces. My interest in new materials has also led me to discover Niobium, a metal that is coloured by anodising in a similar way to titanium. The addition of coloured metal gives me a multitude of options that fuel my creative drive.
My increased knowledge of gemology also allows me to judiciously choose the precious stones that will be mounted on my unique pieces. My studies in visual arts also allow me to play with the colours of the stones while respecting the different chromatic harmonies. I exploit the colours of the stones a lot and do not hesitate to make unusual mixtures. In my opinion, nature offers us gems of an infinite number of colours. Even if I appreciate the beauty and relevance of colourless diamonds, I find that coloured stones give more life to my creations.
S.T collection. Vent et Violet necklace. Sterling silver, niobium and tsavorite garnets
My work is strongly inspired by my interest in storytelling and nature. Thus, the pieces I create are very often composed of botanical forms with great attention to small details. I like my jewels to tell a story because I see them as objects imbued with a life of their own and a sentimental value. This idea of these objects witnessing the journeys and day to day life of their owners deeply fascinates me because one can easily imagine the whole life of a person from a piece of jewellery they have worn and tell a story about it.
Being very sentimental myself, I have this tendency to include a story or a hidden meaning in the jewellery I make, most often in connection with a memory that I wish to remember and preserve in material, even symbolic form.
By creating the Into the Unknown – Going Home collection, my goal was to push the idea of storytelling further in jewellery and also to experiment with the textile – metal combination. I therefore chose to combine embroidery and wax sculpture/lost wax casting because these two mediums require very meticulous practice and make it possible to precisely integrate many elements that are not necessarily visible at first. It is particularly the case for the details present on the sculpted branches or the shades used for the embroidery scenes. I like the idea of taking a pause and getting closer to a jewellery piece in order to see all the small elements that compose it and to glimpse at the story and the secrets it conceals.
Keeping in mind that I wanted to tell a story through my jewellery, I have chosen to make a reversible central element and clasp for the necklace so that the centrepiece of the collection is both the starting point and the point of return, hence the idea of embroidering two different paths. The bracelet and the brooch aim to illustrate the places explored during the journey and also the passage of time; a theme that I consider interesting, in particular because of the legends surrounding the circles of fairies represented in these two jewels and according to which unwary travellers sometimes remained imprisoned in the forest.
Into the unknown – Going home collection. S.T. necklace. Sterling silver, linen, embroidery thread (cotton), citrines, iolites and topaz
I represent my artistic process as a layer of my personal life. Specifically, I am inspired by architecture and nature and then I let the ideas flow from there. I don’t try to put my inspirations into words, it’s the instinct that guides the creative process. For me, creation is a state of mind, and one must be receptive to it. I find myself in this state when I feel an impulse that reveals my ideas clearly and acutely. It is through this impulse that I let the simple forms inspire me. I have fun, thereafter, to complexify them by putting them in scene under various proposals. This is how my method of artistic research is translated.
Céleste collection. S.T. necklace. Sterling silver, peridot and citrine
Geometry, angles and their compositions are at the heart of my creative process. Fascinated by the straight line, the shortest path between two points, I often return to this line when I design my jewellery.
The symmetry of shapes and the alternation of identical pieces also play an important role in the construction of my pieces, they dictate the rhythm while establishing the cadence. Voluntarily, this is sometimes broken by variations that I insert according to my inspirations. Rigor and regularity are qualities that I like and that I try to achieve on each of the jewels I make.
Passionate about new technologies, I regularly use 3D drawing softwares, in order to obtain an unequalled precision that judiciously serves my style. The idea of putting advanced techniques at the service of my imagination leads me to surpass myself and stimulate my creativity. It is also a way for me to visualize the piece with a very accurate idea of the final result without having to actually make the jewel. From these sketches, all modifications are possible and the elaboration of the research is all the more stimulating!
Vertex collection. S.T. necklace. Sterling silver and garnets
I wanted to combine several of my passions in my final project. First, I grew up always having a watch on my wrist, I am fascinated by this complex jewel that today people abandon more and more. Then comes my passion for the geek universe, especially for video games, where I have been immersed since my childhood. And finally comes my adoration for art, although it came later in my life, it is today what drives me professionally. The ingredients of my project are clockwork and Art Nouveau. Both put together to create a look called ”Steampunk”.
”Steampunk” is characterized by a mixture of industrial design from the late 1800s to 1900s, which Jules Vernes established in his literature. Subsequently, the cinema and especially the video game industry have taken the visual codes by adding the aesthetics of art nouveau. We systematically find the use of copper, brass, leather, and wood.
I have therefore taken some of these codes and have insisted that the gears and mechanisms ‘hidden’ in my pieces come from watches that I have chosen and dismantled. In order to add a more chic side to my design, I appropriated the shapes and curves of Art Nouveau and added stones, pearls, gold…
I wanted to step out of my comfort zone by proposing a design going in the opposite direction of what I usually do, to prove that I can do something other than modern and minimalist looking jewellery. It was a challenge I wanted to take up for my final project.
Secrets mécaniques collection. S.T. necklace. Sterling silver, 14k and 18k gold, brass, red garnets, london blue topaz and natural white pearls
Through her collection, I try to honour my roots and questions the essence of my identity as an islander woman. In particular, I take inspiration from her hometown, New-Caledonia, a small island in the Pacific Ocean, in the middle of the world’s largest lagoon.
In my jewellery practice, I incorporate a subtle mix of strict symmetric lines and organic flows. Conjointly, it represents the cultural richness of my country as well as the memories it has given me: stripped sea snakes, wooden canoes, mother-of-pearls and braiding.
All the memories, travels, unexpected meetings and experience shapes all influence my practice and the way I approach art. My jewelries were crafted by those memories. Every decision and choice, every shape, every technic I used and colours were made to symbolize a part of the history, the traditions and landscapes of where I grew up.
This collection take part of my oral traditions where the horizon lose itself in the ocean and the splendour of sea mingle with the brilliance of the jewels. I have difficulty to make peace with my identity and my country’s tragic history of colonization. Every day, I try my best to navigate the difficult relation I have with my roots, and I hope this piece of jewellery can help me compose with this tension relating to my identity.
S.T. collection. S.T. necklace. Sterling silver, 10k and 14k white gold, rose cut tourmalines, rose cut sapphires, pearls and blue london topaz
After some researching, I figured that most of the current jewellery products were made in a classic and minimalist way. For my final project, I wanted to materialize my ideal by creating pieces of jewellery with an expressive style.
I applied myself to create a collection that would bring a new dimension to contemporary jewellery.
My inspiration mostly comes from the Arabic and Japanese cultures, which I am passionate about because of their historical and cultural heritage.
I am also influenced by the most beautiful and perfect creation, nature.
The collection المحارب said Al Muharib, meaning « The Warrior » is inspired by the blade of a double-sided axe. I reinterpreted the object by adjusting its shape to a more delicate look while keeping its sharpness.
The centerpiece of the collection, the warrior, represents the ultimate battle, the battle we fight every single day against ourselves to preserve the purity of our hearts.
The red and pink colour of the rhodolite garnets echoes to the colour of the organ that keeps us alive, whereas the black spinels symbolize our bad deeds that blacken our hearts. The opal, showcasing a wide spectrum of colours, represents the complexity of the soul through it’s ability to do good or evil.
The warrior, completely freed from the shackles of his own darkness, won the fight against himself and is liberated from his challenge.
The collection Al Muharib is a symbol of hope for a better tomorrow where we become this warrior that defeated his own darkness.
‘’ He who purifies it will prosper (the soul), and he who suppresses it will be ruined ‘’.
المحارب collection which means the Warrior and is pronounced Al Muharib. S.T. necklace. Sterling silver, rhodolite garnets, black spinels and Ethiopian opal
When I create, I start with a concept that I deconstruct to extract its essence. Then I can play with new forms and ideas to tell a new story. That is the method I used to produce my three unique pieces. I chose to reinvent a type of jewellery that I have a great interest in, massive chains.
I questioned myself about the creative potential in the chain, and about its meaning. Chains are very present, but most of the time quite discrete in jewellery. They often represent repetition, regularity, precision.
Jacques Lenfant, in his book « Le livre de la chaine », describes the chain as : « A Succession of rings interlaced, forming a flexible link ». I see the concept of the link as two hands embracing each other. I wanted to emphasize the connection and put aside the links that represent individuality. I started experimenting, and the module appeared, a unit made of two half links. This new design is not an assembly of rings, but rather an assembly of connections. The small chain is the conductive link, the lifeline. Once assembled, the pieces create a regular pattern. The regularity is disrupting by colourful stones placed in a disorganized way.
To add versatility, several units can be added or removed from the necklace. That way the length and the front pattern can be changed. Depending on the length or the pattern chosen, the necklace can take on a more discreet or more imposing appearance. The front pattern chosen can continue the regularity of the rest of the necklace, or break it up.
The creation of these three jewels allowed me to create graphic patterns, but also to play with contrasts between massive and delicate and regular and irregular elements. This visual language is the result of a research process that I intend to develop further in the future.
Ensemble de liens collection. S.T. necklace. Sterling silver, 10k white gold, iolites and orange saphires
Adornments of unique pieces:
« En effet, ton Nord est enfer à celui qui s’y perd,
Mais ton fer est de l’or à celui qui s’en sert,
Car ton Nord est Stellaire! »
From where? From the South to the North!
Everything begins with encounters: an encounter between the narwhal and the child I was; an encounter between the narwhal’s ivory and the benitoite; an encounter with the territory of Montreal and Quebec, the cold, the snow and the ice. Meeting with the North… It is from these meetings that these unique pieces are born, they are the fruit of their dialogues of shapes, textures and colours, that to me, evoke the polar landscapes. An idea for a ring was born, it would be called “The North Star”.
It is from these two materials (benitoite and Narwhal ivory) and this idea of a ring dedicated to the North, that my collection is elaborated in connection with several inspirations like the Susheela Raman song’s “North Star”. It is also a tribute to this animal that has fascinated me since childhood (the Narwhal), it is an attempt to tame this winter and my own immigration, an expression of my relationship with the cold, the snow and the North wind, which the blue of the Benitoïte reminds me. I wanted this jewellery to be wearable, comfortable, light and elegant. I wanted it to be mysterious but not obvious; not to be delivered in one go, in one look.
To finish, I will quote my friend Ariane Genet de Miomandre, costume designer, to whom I showed the designs of this collection: “Elegant, dangerous, eyes, mystery, a weapon in itself!
I can relate perfectly…
Nord collection. Les mystères du Nord necklace with pendant Lumière du Nord. Sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, Narwhal ivory, rough and cabochon benitoites, aquamarines, blue swiss topazes, blue London topazes, iolites and sapphires
Interested in the Art Deco period, the jewellery of the 1920s, in particular the creations of Van Cleef & Arpel, but also the ornamental jewellery of Paco Rabanne from the 1970s, I drew my inspiration from these source.
The round shapes and curves that are similar to the feminine universe caught my attention.
The initial design of the necklace is influenced by the flower of life motif which is interpreted as chain mail.
In the midst of the creative process, I realised that I was revisiting my origins. Indeed, my work was similar to the jewellery of ancient Egypt where I come from.
I then understood that my artistic approach was closely linked to my life path. I finally made the link between who I am and where I come from.
This collection is dedicated to my mother who passed away when I was 9 years old.
Katia. collection. S.T. necklace. Sterling silver, 14k gold and pearl
I like to say that I don’t favour a particular artistic style. However, during my training in jewellery making, I realized that I am attracted to pearls and mother of pearl. Indeed, these unique organic materials with their iridescent reflections and colours are wonders of nature. Their sumptuous shine enhances precious metals such as gold and silver.
My collection is therefore based on these materials that are dear to me. I had a lot of pleasure in highlighting them on each of the pieces of my final project. My necklace is sublimated by the akoya pearls and by the carved shell, which is the central element. Thus, we are transported by the breath of the trade winds, these great winds from the tropics.
I imagine the bracelet as a rock, where the pearly circles are delicately placed. These sparkling dots illuminate the jewel and remind me of the sea, the sea of my native island.
NAYA. collection. Ô necklace. Sterling silver, 14k gold, akoya pearls and mother of pearl
We would also like to thank our official partners Ormex and Casting MD Casting, the Fondation du Cégep du Vieux Montréal, as well as all our sponsors, for their generosity. Their support for the next generation of artists shows their commitment to the craft industry and allows us to create great things.
Crédits photos : Anthony McLean