Boucheron Carte Blanche collection, Ailleurs
“To me what is precious is what is beautiful, not what is expensive. The most beautiful elements come from nature and this collection is an ode to its beauty” – Claire Choisne.
In this video, Claire Choisne talks about the creations of Boucheron Carte Blanche Collection, Ailleurs : “The Sand Woman”, “The leaf woman”, “The Earth Woman”, “The Pebble Woman”, “The Volcano Man”.
As in many stories, there is a dream at the start. It was at the beginning of 2020. We were concretely confined. I understood at that moment that I needed to travel, to see nature, to move to be inspired. And there, it was no longer possible. It is to offer a capacity for different journeys: a mental journey thanks to the imagination. Then, the dream has a name. It’s called Elsewhere. The advantage of not making real trips and just being in the imagination is that we put no constraints on ourselves. These five imaginary universes in which everyone can find themselves.
The sand woman
I see her in a warm environment. She walks barefoot in the sand. It is something solar, luminous. If we take the reaction of jewelers, it is: How can we make a rattan cord necklace? It is a flexible material. And jewelers are used to working with rigid materials such as gold, stones and then enameling them to give them flexibility. And it’s completely intuitive, so there may be a little panic starting. Then many and many hours of testing.
At the end, the happiness of seeing that it was possible and magnificent. In the end, I feel like it’s a nature princess necklace. He is sophisticated. He is handsome. It’s a sublime work of jewelry and at the same time, it highlights a material that somewhere has nothing to do there.
A gazelle ring that does not look like a gazelle. It’s a bit of a hybrid, imaginary animal. She has curling horns whereas the gazelle has no curling horns. There is a baguette treatment with round diamonds. I find it wonderful. She has an extremely delicate, gentle, peaceful face with almost doe eyes. The magpie is a crystal exoskeleton.
A pair of shell and diamond earrings. We have selected shells that we find very beautiful to come and put a jewelry part on. I did not see a huge difficulty for these parts. But I was wrong because for this 2 pieces, two identical shells were needed.
The leaf woman
The Leaf Woman will be in a much more colorful universe: orange green, very bright colors. Like that, we will feel the electrical energy, a very dynamic energy.
There is a whole story with these foliage jewels.
The bracelet is a cuff. The concept behind this cuff was to give the illusion that it was created from a weaving of leaves to highlight a very beautiful tourmaline. We worked with anodized aluminum sheets: an extremely light and solid material. It can be worked very finely like leaves. We can recreate the relief that we have in real leaves. And you can modulate the colors to infinity. Finally, we really have the impression that these are real leaves.
The toucan bracelet is one of the most technical pieces in the collection. All the emphasis has been placed on its beak. We wanted a play of colors that can be found on a toucan’s beak, but with stones. So we made a three-dimensional marquetry of stone that we then cut into the shape of a beak.
There are several shades of citrine, black onyx for the beak, rubellite. Finally, we see these extremely distinct, precise and metal-free color schemes.
The earth woman
I imagine it almost hidden and protected by the earth. Perhaps rays of light that would pierce this cave or the earth. We would be in very warm ocher tones.
For this brooch, there was a fairly clear first desire, which was to obtain an extremely realistic effect of flower petals, even if it was going to be worked in wood. We scanned real flower petals from which we recreated a new flower. This is imaginary. Thanks to these scans, we were able to carve the wood in an ultra-realistic way, which requires extremely thin thicknesses.
The wood we chose is santos rosewood because the grain of the wood cut in the shape of petals had to be aesthetic.
We mounted the pistils of the heart of the flower on titanium pistils, thin as hair. So as soon as you plug the titanium pistils, they start to vibrate and bring it to life.
In the universe of Woman Earth, I wanted people to pay homage to what nature and the earth naturally offered, in terms of stone. In particular, by looking at all the crystallization that can exist, we came across natural cubic crystallization.
One wonders how nature can make perfect cubes, right angles. I found this crystallization magnificent, and so here it is, the source of inspiration for making her crystal earrings.
The pebble woman
The pebble woman, I see her in a more melancholy universe. We would be with white, light gray shades. Everything would be calm, slow, peaceful. For the necklace, I wanted us to work around real pebbles. The pebbles have a certain weight and it seemed essential to me to create a surprise. When the person takes the necklace in his hands, it means that he is surprised at its lightness. When I saw the first trials of these emptied pebbles, it was absolutely brilliant because there was a surprise. Becoming as thin as an eggshell, the white pebbles became spangled.
Jewelry is for lovers of detail. In many pieces, it’s hard to stop: you want to push the detail as far as possible, to seek perfection. To achieve this perfection, there are thousands of hours of work behind it so that it can’t be seen and that it looks natural. Obviously for me, that’s immense value.
For the bear, it was worked with an inlay of rose-cut diamonds. The result will give a slightly frosty effect that will recall the ice floe, the universe of the polar bear.
We made an elephant set with diamonds. His trunk will wrap around the finger to form the body of the ring.
The volcano man
The man-volcano would live in a more hostile, more arid universe, all in contrast between black and white. We would feel the strength and maybe something raw.
We created a shell necklace, but not from mother-of-pearl. In fact, the starting point for this necklace was to use the image of x-rayed shells to represent the inside of the shell.
We took mother-of-pearl plates and thanks to both airbrushing and 3d printing, we managed to recreate these plays of light and shadow.
I love burnt wood. It is marsh oak that has been burned using a technique that will give the wood this matte, satiny and very black appearance.
It will reveal all the relief of the veins of the wood. We will be able to read all the graphics of the grain of the wood: it is quite beautiful.
A wolf that howls at the moon and whose coat is made of several things. On the back, his coat is made in meteorite sculpture. So it’s a real meteorite that was sculpted. The meteorite when sculpted, it has a metallic effect.
It is made up of what are called Neumann lines. We have the impression of actually seeing a coat with shades of gray.
A single earring. It is asymmetrical. These are tentacles that will start from behind the ear and roll up to make loops all around the ear.
A collection elsewhere that mixes plants, minerals and animals: rattan marrow, pebbles, wood, meteorite. These materials were chosen for their aesthetic value. What I found interesting was to confront them, to create a contrast with materials that are used quite naturally in jewelry, such as diamonds and gold. I realize this with time and the different collections on which I have been able to work.
This notion of precious for me is what is beautiful and not systematically what is expensive. What I find beautiful, in general, is found in nature. For me, if there was a single talented creator on this planet, it is nature. And therefore the need to pay homage to it or to open people’s eyes to this beauty and to the value of this beauty.
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