BIOGRAPHY

 

 

I was born and grew up in Paris, France.

My interest in metalsmithing started at 19 when I moved to Taos New-Mexico where I studied Navajo, Zuni and Hopi techniques and traditions, specially Navajo stamp work. I was then drawn to the work in West Africa when I moved to Mali, where I studied Touareg, Fulani and other techniques that have been passed from one generation to another in the apprenticeship tradition. In the modern world, these techniques are getting lost and I was moved to attempt to preserve them by writing a book called "Legacy, jewelry techniques of West Africa". Through that time I developed a style of metalsmithing using stamps that I call Stampclastic. Stamping holds a special place in my heart; it is a technique that can be done anywhere. Stamps can be made out of recycled pieces of steel, old chisel or such. It is also a technique used all around the world. Most of the time the design is a geometrical shape with often a meaning, and used as an accent to decorate the metal. I have been using this technique for over 20 years and developed my own form of stamping by creating patterns that filled the entire piece of metal. Over the years my stamped design evolved; my recent pieces are made of those patterns that are then anticlastic shaped(that give a confort fit to the pieces) into bracelets and rings. “Stampclastic” as I call it is a tribute to all the jewelers around the world who transform any old piece of steel into tools or any piece of metal into beautiful jewelry.

In 2014 Tim McCreight and I created the Toolbox initiative, a non profit organization that helps jewellers in West Africa mostly by giving donated tools.

 

« STAMPCLASTIC »        

I have a passion for  ethnic techniques  from around the world. I am fascinated with the know- how, the transmission of the craft and the transformation of raw or recycled material into beautiful ornaments by gold and silversmiths of those different countries.

I started making a living as a jeweler by stamping traditional Navajo bracelets and Concho belts for Native American Indian jewelers. Stamping holds a special place in my heart; it is a technique that can be done anywhere and is a technique used all across Africa. Stamps can be made out of any piece of steel. Often the design is a geometrical shape, and used as an accent to decorate the metal, draw a line or just to add a few motifs here and there. I have been using this technique for over 20 years and developed my own form of stamping by creating patterns that filled the entire piece of metal. Over the years my stamped design evolved; my recent pieces are made of those patterns that are then anticlastically shaped into bracelets and rings. “Stampclastic” as I call it, is a tribute to all the jewelers around the world who transform any old piece of steel into tools or any piece of metal into beautiful jewelry.

 

J'ai une passion pour les «techniques ethniques » du monde entier. Je suis fasciné par le savoir-faire et la transmission du savoir et de la transformation de matières premières ou recyclées en de superbes ornements, par les bijoutiers de ces différents pays.

J'ai commencé à gagner ma vie comme bijoutier en poinçonnant des bracelets et  des boucles de ceintures « conchos » typiques de la bijouterie Navajo, pour des bijoutiers amérindiens. Le poinçonnage occupe une place spéciale dans mon cœur. Il s'agit d'une technique qui peut être pratiquée n'importe où.  Les poinçons peuvent être fabriqués avec n'importe quel morceau d'acier; les Navaho utilisent de vielles limes pour les transformer en boucles de ceintures ou autre. C'est aussi une technique utilisée à travers toute l'Afrique. La plupart du temps le design est une forme géométrique utilisée comme  accent pour décorer le métal,  tracer une ligne ou tout simplement quelques motifs ici et là.  Durant les vingt dernières années mes motifs et formes ont évolué; mes pièces les plus récentes sont créées à partir de plaques de métal entièrement poinçonnées qui sont ensuite transformées en bracelets ou en bagues avec la technique «  anticlastique ». Pour moi, "stampclastic" comme je l'appelle est un hommage aux  bijoutiers du monde entier qui transforment n'importe quel vieux morceau d'acier en outils, ou n'importe quel morceau de métal en magnifiques  bijoux.