CAMEO IS AN ONGOING SERIES FEATURING CANADIAN JEWELLERY ARTISTS. HERE, THEY SHARE THEIR LATEST THOUGHTS AND INSIGHTS, AND GIVE US A PEEK INTO THEIR PRACTICE.
I am a contemporary enamellist using the technique of cloisonné to create character-based illustrated jewellery inspired by street art, comics and everyday life experiences.
Describe your current work/practice in one sentence.
People are a bottomless pit of inspiration; I think humans are very weird. The way someone can act or dress will often catch my attention. There is a lady in Montréal that only wears yellow and once in the subway I saw her eat an egg sandwich, then I wondered what would she eat if she was wearing pink or purple?
I also love to roam through flea markets and thrift stores because they are like walkin’ treasure chests. There’s always some funky objects to look at and lots of funny clothes to try on and create characters with.
And then of course everyday life brings on a lot of awkward situations and encounters that will stick to my mind and ferment in my head for a while before it becomes a drawing in my sketchbook or even a real piece sometimes.
What are three things/ideas that inspire you?
My jewellery practice wouldn’t exist if I wasn’t drawing everyday, so when I am not in the studio bringing to life one of my characters, I am sketching and experimenting on paper. It almost feels like I never get away from making something, so recently I have been trying to do activities that are not at all art related, like spinning or biking. It is a good way to focus on something entirely different. It is a great escape and a way to be present in the moment.
What other things do you do besides your jewellery practice?
What is a favourite piece that you’ve made and why?
There are so many pieces I have made that I love very much, it is difficult to choose. I feel connected to all of them in very distinct ways because all of these characters represent a part of my story. I’ll give you three. Puff Puff is one close to my heart because it is very simple, I imagine that it must be sad for a bush to be stuck in one place for an entire life, so I gave Puff Puff the gift to grow legs and explore the world. I also love Franz, the three-eyed cat wearing a fancy suit with a pattern of cats sporting pure gold butt holes… and the last one I think of is La boîte en carton. A very sad little guy who is trying to keep his tears in a cardboard box. The box will inevitably become soggy and disintegrate, which makes it even more sad. There is a lot of mixed feelings in this piece, it’s also about fleeting moments, happiness for some, sadness for others and all the contradictions that come with those feelings.
The Canadian art jewellery scene is slowly but surely growing and expanding. It is quite hard to make a place for yourself in the art jewellery world but I believe that we have a dedicated community here that has decided to take actions and initiatives to give opportunities to jewellers to share their voices and show their work. There are platforms like MetalAid, collectives like CoAdorn and initiatives like le Labo by Noel Guyomarc’h that are shaping and building the art jewellery scene in Canada.
What word pops into your mind when you think of Canadian art jewellery?
I am going to Beijing in the fall to learn how to cloisonné on vessels during a two month residency. I am beyond excited! Having the opportunity to connect with a culture through a craft is quite amazing and unique. I think it is also going to be extremely inspiring to discover a new culture and I am very curious to see how this will affect the way I record everyday life through sketching.
What is coming up next for you?