Painting a gouache prototype of a future jewel is all part of the design process, and for Emmanuel Tarpin it comes naturally. Drawing is an enduring hobby of this young French artist, and what emerges from his paintbrush is always meaningful and filled with emotion. He once asked me what my favourite animal was, to which I replied, “a chameleon”. A few days later, I received a beautiful hand-painted ‘pet’, which now resides on my desk and keeps me company. “I draw sketches and gouaches about my inspirations, from nature and birds to bugs and flowers, and I read a lot of books about subjects such as Redouté (a 17th-century painter of nature) for ideas for colours and textures," Emmanuel shares. “One less conventional way in which I find inspiration is to create maquettes using natural elements from my garden, such as peonies, pistils and leaves, which I mix with precious stones to create ephemeral pieces.”
It is hard to imagine jet-setting jewellers having the time to enjoy simple pleasures, but recently Noor Fares has fallen in love with gardening and the great outdoors. The Lebanese designer renowned for her colourful modern-day talismans has been living in her family’s house in the South of France for the past couple of months, and she has been spending most of her days in the garden with her 15-month-year old son. “We planted aromatic herbs and various kinds of vegetables and it has been magical to see the journey of the seed evolving into a plant. Nurturing our planet is very important. It makes me feel grounded and connected to the earth. It is a rewarding feeling to plant seeds and watch them flourish, I recommend that anyone give it a go. It is possible even on a windowsill!”
Another popular pastime that many of us can relate to is cooking, a long-time favourite of Gioia Placuzzi, the Creative Director of SICIS jewellery department. “My hobby has always been cooking,” she shares with us. “I love preparing meals for my family and testing out new recipes. Cooking helps me a lot, it clears my mind and allows me to relax. I recommend it to all those who can't stand still but who need a few moments off during the day. Ah, and we have recently been joined by a new addition to the family: a five-month-old dachshund. So he is the new ‘hobby’ for my partner and I. We love spending time with our dog at the park.”
For contemporary pearl maestro Melanie Georgacopoulos, who is always busy with her young family, mindfulness and well-being are her priorities. “As a mum of two small children, I haven't really had the luxury to take on new hobbies, but my husband and I bought a rowing machine to help maintain our physical and mental health. I also find that organising and decluttering different parts of my life proves to be beneficial: my home, wardrobe and pantry as well as my social media accounts. I find it incredibly helpful for my mental health to unfollow unnecessary people on Instagram and reduce the ‘noise’ levels of excess information.”
Talking about Instagram, twin brothers David and Michael from David Michael Jewellery have a beautiful account. However, whilst they put a lot of effort into maximising the appeal of their feed and ‘painting’ with gouache or gemstones, they know how to distract from their jewellery-related activities. “I recently received a vintage typewriter," shares Michael. “It’s a 1967 Hermes baby - basically the iPad of its day because it was the most portable and fashionable typewriter available. Now I use it for writing about my day or, more recently, typing letters to family and friends. The rhythm of typing and the sounds the machine makes are so soothing. It’s like stepping back in time and unplugging from the modern day, I really enjoy it.” David, meanwhile, has a vintage VW Beetle that always needs tinkering with: “She really is running at the top of her game right now. I also do general DIY - replacing, restoring and cleaning anything and everything that needs tending to.”
From gardening to cooking, sketching to writing letters, these jewellery artists are finding inspiration and calm in the simple pleasures.