As you mentioned in the beginning; it’s all about exploring the voids?
I’ve always enjoyed that. And, even if I’ve never actually said it out loud, with the major focus on sustainability, we experience now, I’ve always believed that things need to have a justification to exist.
It’s a new set-up too, working with a gallery?
It’s completely different, and it’s been very exciting. I am someone who has a hard time staying in the same thing for too long. I like a challenge, and I like a deadline. I like working with dogmas. I like setting a goal, deciding on a topic, and then exploring and responding to it. And that’s how it’s always been.
These dogmas. Which ones are you working with right now?
I like to explore boundaries. Particularly my own. I will challenge myself by creating something from a metal I do not particularly love; like silver. I was always obsessed with gold, so I decided to force myself to create a project in silver. It was a frustrating process, having to create something beautiful from a material that did not immediately turn me on. But I ended up loving the result. It’s about shedding the old layers. The discovery of your own creativity is extremely exciting and provocative, and strenuous, unbearable, nerve-wracking, and a whole lot of other things. But when I land on both feet somewhere new, it is all worth it.
Right now, it seems like it’s all about finding a balance, exploring the framework and pushing it, and even if it’s wild, it still has to be wearable?
To me, that’s what characterizes a piece of jewellery; wearability and beauty. You might not wear it on a regular Tuesday, but I want people to use it. And most often, jewellery is connected to memories. You build a relationship with your jewellery. It deserves respect, and to me, there’s not that much respect in hiding them in a box somewhere to never be looked at. To me that’s not its value.
I read the description talisman somewhere, in relation to your jewellery.
It’s in relation to the things I’ve created after my commercial projects. I decided to not care what people thought about it, and I gave myself some years, where it was not about earnings and turnover and all that, and it became a new dogma for me to make people purchase jewellery differently. I put everything else aside, and focused on what I believe in, what I like, with the process as the only purpose. The goal is to challenge myself and push myself. It had to be different. I used to always do small and very minimalistic jewellery, whereas now, I make big organic shapes.
And your inspiration, it comes from inside yourself?
It comes very much from within and in the process. I did these small spunks, small clouds, they don’t have a name. I started working in wax, which was something I would never do before, because where I come from it is not perceived as real craftsmanship, but this time around, I just didn’t care. And then it became such a cool process. I’ve probably done 500 different weird shapes, and none of them were just right. I’m sure no one else could tell. Suddenly, after three months, it was just right. I cannot explain why, it is just a feeling that I have. There’s that one right shape, and that’s the way it is supposed to be. It’s about proportions and process.
It must be very liberating, given that it all comes from within, to have completely let go of working with the customers’ needs in mind?
Yes, but it was also difficult. I’m not different from everyone else; I want people to like me, and to like the things I make. I want praise and recognition, just like everyone else. But I had reached a point, and an age, where I felt like I had to let go of these things and create a personal project. I had to really work with myself and teach myself to not care.
Subjectively, looking at it from the outside, the result is exceptional. Many people feel the same way about your new pieces, which must be amazing now that you’ve let go of other people’s expectations?
It is truly amazing. You can never fully let go of feelings like that. But it’s a process, and it’s still a goal. After 20 years in the industry, and through life in general, to use your creativity to evolve personally, is amazing. I’ve been lucky to be able to do just that for the last three years; it’s been such a liberty. And the funny thing is, now I’ve solved it. It’s been very satisfactory.