AUDREY MESTDAGH – INTRODUCTION
Audrey Mestdagh’s jewels are raw and primitive. However, They also show minimalisme and the designer’s discretion. I immediately liker this audacious mix in her jewels. Audrey attempts to synthesize the essence of her research in every piece to give it a story and a fake and assumed authenticity, from another time. Trained as a designer, she combines a sense of harmony of shapes and her love of gestures and wonderful irregularities produced by the work of bronze. Let’s meet an inspired designer and craftswoman.
‘Finding a soul – in my research and the start object – and to develop it. The idea is that everything could have been existing years ago, as a legacy and a timeless object. A work steeped with authenticity.’
Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Audrey Mestdagh and I am a craftswoman and designer. I was born in the Parisian region and I am now based in the South-West of France.
How would you define your universe?
From my training in design, I have kept the taste of volumes and curves. I patiently shape them until obtaining a perfectly balanced line. This is how my jewelry collections appear, it is a work moving between art and design.
When and how have you decided to launch your activity?
I was born in a family of freelance craftsmen. After my studies in design, I have worked for magazines, shootings, edition, fashion design and production. But, life is too short not to get back to your first love : design and jewelry. I have always been attached to the materials experiment, I started the adventure of jewelry.
What is your background?
I have a national degree in arts and techniques, in the design field. After several jobs, I decided to get back to a manual work. I am a self taught jeweler. I have learned welding, hammering, design, polishing and shaping by hand each piece.
How did your passion start ?
I have always been attracted by jewels, especially ancient adornments in Primary Arts. I can spend hours at the Quai Branly Museum and I am inspired by all tribes. By shaping curves and volumes, I picture my jewels as micro sculptures.
You are a trained designer, what is the impact of your former job on your new activity?
I consider jewel as a rightful object and I carefully shape it as a designer. I consider volumes and curves of a jewel as a designer can picture the volume and curves of an object, a chair, a furniture. Striking a balance and purifying lines are my work’s keywords.
When have you created your first piece, what was it?
I started by creating very thin jewels in brass wires. However, I quickly explored other techniques especially lost-was casting. An ancestral technique of sculpture which allowed me to evolve towards the production of bronze jewels. One of my first model was the Cheveyo ring which is still a must-have piece.
What is your usual creative process?
I am very inspired by Primary Arts and I regularly explore exhibitions, books and images I can find. Inspiration comes by itself, I draw sketches and I quickly shape it. I try to shape my jewel in wax then comes the casting process. Afterwards, I shape this jewel in bronze until obtaining the volume I want.
What is the source of your inspiration?
I am often inspired by ancient tribes but also by design, espacillay from the 1950s. I am also inspired by human body and nature. The curves of a woman, a simple walk in the woods or on the beach can give me volumes and jewels ideas. I am also inspired by travels and I like to find ancient treasures. I like natural materials that fade and are ennobled through time, Primary Arts, the architect Richard Neutra, photography, wandering in libraries, large tables or plunging into a novel, to unwind at a lakeside, the American West Coast, road-trips with my lover, the Art Brut and the Hopi art…In short, I am inspired by everything!
Photos : © Audrey Mestdagh. Photographs provided by Audrey Mestdagh and published with her approval.