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.)