BIOGRAPHY

I was born in Paris and at the age of 19 moved to Taos, New Mexico, where I learned jewelry making from Navajo, Hopi and Zuni silversmiths. Seven years later I moved to Mali, West Africa where I studied with Touareg and Bambara jewelers for several years. 

I then established myself in Montreal where I joined a jewelry school to learn a more classical view of the trade. Since my arrival there I have been making jewelry and selling it in galleries and shows throughout Canada and the United States. For the past seven years I have been teaching jewelry at a professional school.

For many years now, I have been working to give back to the West African jewelers who have given me so much. One of the ways I have been doing this is through a teaching collaboration.  I have been filming old techniques in Guinea, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then creating a course from those videos. I offer these classes in Montreal and split the proceeds with the African jewelers. The revenue created by this equitable collaboration is leading to significant changes in the lives of these wonderful and skillful jewelers. 

I have also been giving many conferences on West African jewelers, their techniques and their day-to-day lives. My hope is to open a jewelry school in Guinea in the near future.

 

« 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.