there is something whimsical and fairy tale-like about your jewellery. we're incredibly charmed by it. where do you seek inspiration for the visuals?
i often use designs that bring people back to their childhood and make them dream and smile. i like to associate organic shapes with geometric lines. themes of nature and sea inspire me, especially the small details. i see faces in everything and they appear a lot in my work. it makes it more precious in a way because some pieces seem to have a soul. my imagination is definitely the most important thing in my creations. i generally find new ideas bloom late at night or while doodling in my sketchbooks.
what are your favourite materials to work with?
i love working with silver - the metal can be transformed using a variety of techniques, so the possibilities are endless. it's also a pleasure to work with wood once in a while - carving with chisels into a piece of yew is such a different feel. it's great to go from one medium to the other.
we understand that there are multiple processes and skill sets that factor into jewellery-making. what is the most difficult skill you've mastered?
i use engraving in a lot of my designs. it's a meticulous process that requires patience and practice, but also the right tools; a very sharp engraving tool is essential and the help of a microscope makes the work much easier.
what does your perfect work day look like?
i love working on brand new designs. watching a fresh idea transform into a 3d object is amazing. i work alongside other freelance jewellers, so it's nice to to be able to exchange ideas and interact with other creative minds. i also like to have good music in the background and chocolate is a great bonus!
you make jewellery, do illustrations and create some pretty whimsical crafts. where did you learn all of these arts?
from the age of fifteen, i focused on art and design subjects in school, which helped me to develop my imagination and my own identity. at eighteen, i entered a graphic design and illustrations school in nantes, but quickly realized i was more interested in craft. i discovered jewellery, which combined a lot of my interests, bringing creative and technical work together. i decided to enter a professional school of jewellery and silversmithing in brittany. i knew instantly that it was the perfect work for me.
what inspires you to keep creating?
since i created my own brand in 2010, i have hoped to bring jewellery and illustration together, creating objects that tell stories. later on i discovered wood work as a way to combine them. ideas are endless. i also love creating bespoke jewel-objects from someone else's perspective - it's great to know my creations will become a sentimental object with a real meaning.
(click here to see a video of sylvaine's jewellery and jewel objects coming alive.)