I like to create statement jewellery (mainly rings, necklaces and earrings) that stands out on the body. I imagine and design pieces that are more like small pieces of wearable art.
Each creation has a story behind it, from the winged creations inspired by French Art Nouveau to the textured effects I love to use, that are a reminiscence of the worn aspect of archaeological artefacts dug up from the ground. I also like to let my imagination be guided by memories of inspiring places I have visited or quotes from books and poems I have read.
My creative process comes also from my sensory response to the materials I use. The way they look and feel will influence the design along the way, so that some of the times, the end result is different from the initial idea. I use all sorts of texturing effects, contrasting deep colours (purple and pink) with more muted and iridescent ones (opal and labradorite) and I also like to play with shadows and negative space.
For me, jewellery is a way to express feelings, emotions, words, thoughts to others, and also to create little heirlooms to cherish for years to come.
READ MORE ABOUT CHLOE IN THIS GLOSSY FEATURE ARTICLE FROM OX MAGAZINE MAY 2021
From Archaeology to Jewellery Designer
I am a French expatriate living in a tiny Oxfordshire stone cottage where I design and create jewellery from, using traditional silversmithing techniques. I like to sit at my workbench, surrounded by my tools, with music in the background, that is where my inspiration comes to life, in this little bubble. My creative process and design inspiration comes from all the different paths I took in my life.
As a child I wanted to be an archaeologist, discovering amazing forgotten treasures (like Indiana Jones!), and at the same time I was also dreaming of becoming an artist. I wanted to be able to express myself using other means than voice and words. I did not like to talk but I did feel like I had a lot I wanted to express.
I studied art history and archaeology in Paris, went to almost all the museums, learning about Renaissance, Art Nouveau, the Greek Bronze Age... While I was analysing in great details the texture of handmade pottery at the museum of Mycenae (cited in Homer’s poems), in Greece, it became a fascination for me to look at the worn, rough, pitted, crackled textured surfaces of ancient artefacts. The way time had transformed them into something very different was for me as much interesting and beautiful as the initial object. Whilst doing a PhD on travelling artisans, I realised that I wanted to learn an ancient craft: use similar techniques and tools, and actually experience what I had been studying.
When I discovered silversmithing I was mesmerised by the 'magic' of metal transformation, with almost endless possibilities. I studied silversmithing and jewellery making at the Jewellery School in Birmingham. Each learning step I took was a uncovering journey. I like the toughness of the material: you need to use some strength to work with it, and I also like that it is messy (like a child playing outside!), your hands are dirty, you end up with tools everywhere around your bench and silver or gold dust on your fingers. My formal training was short, I learnt the basic techniques and then I trained myself, with trial and error, practice and being a bit daring with my abilities and my design ideas. I wanted to be able to find my own style, that "voice" I was looking for.
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