Édith Bellod : Precious Jewels, re-imagined.

Precious Jewels, re-imagined

We were invited into Edith Bellod’s workshop in the XXth district of Paris, near the renowned Père Lachaise Cemetery. A jeweler who enjoys working unexpected shapes, today, she shares with us her story and her love for contemporary jewellery.

Date: 15 March 2019
City: Paris
Artisan: Édith Bellod
How did you become jeweler?

Édith

My career is quite atypical. I first studied textile creation at the Art Décoratifs of Paris, where I specialized in weaving. Then, I worked for several years in the manufacturing industry. After a while, I felt a desire to try a different way of working, more in tune with craftsmanship. I started making small paper sculptures that became jewels. At first, it was very intuitive. Then, the more I experimented, the more I realized I was missing the basic techniques that would more easefully allow me to pursue that line of work.

In light of that, I studied contemporary jewellery at the renowned Massana School in Barcelona. Throughout the years, I trained in enamel, porcelain, filigree, welding, etc…

Can you explain what contemporary jewellery is?

Édith

I would say it is linked to current materials and techniques infused with traditional savoir-faire. Yes, traditional skills are essential, even if one then chooses to reconfigure them.

It is by breaking the hierarchy that may exist between variant materials that one can be free of classical jewelry’s codes. Whether they are precious or more banal, all materials may be reimagined in a way that is worthy of interest; it all depends on how they are transformed.

Is contemporary jewellery well implemented in France?

Édith

It is developing more and more. Events such as “le parcours du bijou” [the jewel’s journey], in Paris, help promote a new way of understanding valuable jewels. Of course, other countries are ahead of us, especially the northern European countries. They are well accustomed to uncommon alliances in jewelry. In France, I feel like the mentality is still a bit conservative because a jewel is deeply connected to transmission and heritage.

Where can we find your creations?

Édith

Mostly in galleries, and in some high-end boutiques. What matters most to me is the mutual trust and comprehensive relationship I have with my representatives.

I am used to working very faithfully with some of them. Gallerists are essential in conveying my ideas and explaining my work. They also give me valuable feedback on the way my work is perceived. It is also important for my work to relate to the pieces they showcase in their gallery.

“I enjoy jewels that can be utterly forgotten, even though they’re noticeable. I also like the idea that they can be worn for every occasion.”

How do you explain that your jewels are displayed in galleries, which are usually associated with art?

Édith

My creations can be showcased in both galleries and some boutiques, depending on what work is displayed along with it.

In galleries, I usually showcase unique pieces. Amateurs and collectors often look for ingenuity in unique pieces. My work echoes that approach, particularly the bespoke pieces for which the concept is grandly elaborated, and are more personal.

Small series are destined to a broader audience – nonetheless a demanding one; therefore, they can find their place in boutiques.

What is the collection that represents you the best?

Édith

The one that currently best describes me is called “fragments de nature”. For that collection, the technical experimentation was very fun. In general, jewelers make wax prototypes that are then melted into metal. In my case, I brought wooden twigs to my foundryman and I chose to transform them into bronze.

At first, I was looking to reproduce the idea of a trompe l’oeil. By oxidizing the bronze, I came to a very convincing outcome – they looked like real twigs! Little by little, each branch started to tell its own story.

For some pieces, I collaborated with different artists. They made drawings in which my creations could be integrated – the jewels were incorporated into the drawings, becoming a sort of portal within the paintings to be contemplated.

How would you describe your relationship to matter?

Édith

I always start working in a very intuitive way. I almost get the sensation that it is the material that chooses me. In my way of working, sometimes there is a meditative aspect to it.

The repetition of the gestures allows my mind to wander and for ideas to get flowing. I appreciate these moments of pure relaxation where I get to observe things transforming. I then decide whether or not to linger on them… Then, as soon as my attention is captured, I am careful to maintain focus until desired balance is realized.

To what kind of woman is your jewellery addressed to?

Édith

To a rather practical woman … The pieces’ lightness and delicacy are essential because I always make sure that my creations allow for easeful adornment of a woman’s body. I enjoy jewels that can be utterly forgotten, even though they’re noticeable. I also like the idea that they can be worn for every occasion.

Did you enjoy discovering this craftsman?

Contact her !
· Credits · Text : Aurélia Monge – Editor : Luna Granados – Photos : Julian Leidig, Johannes Zappe, Stefan Schopferer
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