we recently stumbled upon a beautiful corner of the internet, housing sylvaine's creations. a talented jewellery maker, illustrator and craftswoman, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to ask her some questions, as well as to share some of our favourite pieces (pictured above) with you. sylvaine is from france, but can currently be found in brighton & hove participating in a jewellery workshop that opens its doors to the public every weekend in may. she can be found online at http://sylvaineart.com/.
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.)
Mother said when the Egyptians built their temples,
they did not make them microscopic. Handmade by clay
to turn to stone, they were built immense to be seen by all. She said
that I never was one to grow daisies that cloaked her outsides.
I grew thorns, when touched, they would bleed crimson. Wear it as lipstick and
kiss my own bruises to mark my land. Bullets deep rooted into the ground, some wounds
are tough to remove. Left tattooed onto skin to tell tales of a warrior, she said this
was her war once. I did not need a bow nor an arrow, I was a wildfire
that spread through enemies’ land, the light in a fog of gunpowder. She said not to let them nail
my tongue to a wooden cross
for it was not vanity that spoke, it was the hum that my self-loving
ancestors left as they danced in their enemies’ graves.
who is pigeon?
pigeon is a little creature. she's a bit shy and often lost in thought (you know how pigeons are...). she comes from poland, but relocated to cardiff, wales in 2014 to study illustration at the university of south wales. she describes her work as whimsical and delicate with sullen undertones. she likes combining cute elements with dark and disturbing ones.
what is her process?
she has been drawing since childhood, creating characters to transform into images and words. she does not have a fixed work process - spontaneity is imperative. pigeon rarely makes preparation sketches before beginning a piece - she just goes for it. for traditional media, she enjoys mixing pencils, watercolours, markers, inks and acrylic paint. she also uses photoshop to add colour to some of her drawings. she chooses materials based on on a predetermined image, hoping to construct what already exists in her imagination. she finds creating to be a peaceful and immersive process. she loves learning while illustrating and will throw on a podcast, documentary or ted talk while she works.
what inspires her?
she fills her time with activities, including reading, learning, cooking, thrifting, walking and, of course, drawing/painting. she is particularly interested in sociology and other cultures. diversity is important and inspiration is everywhere. being open to the outside world is a huge part of pigeon's creative process. this includes noticing nature, colours, smells, conversations, people and small events. she also loves literature and is often inspired by writers.
where can you find and support her?
her website, facebook, twitter and patreon!
In your mouth my name
I must taste
of dive bars, or beach
weather. Bite the lime,
lick the salt. My name
means phone call home
or hangover. Have
another. Count the sirens
Lauren Milici is a poet and journalist who believes that the best art is derived from naked honesty. She frequently posts drafts, sketches and musings at her website, laurenemelici.com.