You know why I like Fridays? No, it has nothing to do with the work week – for a while I am designing my work days and week-ends myself. It is because I meet new beautiful jewelers, discover new people, I gather them like diamonds around myself.
Today I invite you to meet with Julie Bégin. Julie is busy as crazy at the moment preparing for her The Very First Big Event – One of a Kind Show in Toronto which will take place from March 29 to April 2, but she still kindly found time to share her story. By the way, we will meet with her again after the show and she will share with us her experience! Can’t wait!
Julie first tasted international success as a makeup designer for fashion and the performing arts, acquiring global experience. Her creative qualities and perfectionism are appreciated by Cirque du Soleil, the dance company La La La Human Steps, designers Helmut Lang and Balenciaga, and pop star Madonna amongst others.
In 2013, Julie decided to live a new passion, the creation of contemporary jewellery. Following 3 years of professional training in Montreal at École de joaillerie, Julie continues taking part in multiple professional development courses on subjects such as metallurgy, computer jewellery design, or the use of non-conventional materials with masters like Charles Lewton-Brain, the great jewellery and silversmithing theorist, and internationally renowned artist Peter Hoogeboom. Julie launched her own brand on September 1st, 2016.
Driven by the desire to create sober and refined objects, Julie’s first collection, The Modernist, was inspired by the architectural movement of the same name. The composition of her first pieces, minimalist and stripped of all superfluous decorative element, is characterized by the simple and harmonious combination of materials, strong lines and the use of negative space, which in turn becomes object, substance.
Her second collection, Shou Sugi Ban, inspired by an ancient Japanese technique, is part of a symbolic approach, where the use of charred wood evokes a profound and intimate personal transformation. The burnt wood elements are married with sterling silver, in an understated and graceful composition. I never thought before that charred wood can be so lovely!
Julie Bégin considers the universe to be a harmonious and orderly system, and this is how she addresses her creations, utilizing precious metals, pearls, and other more unusual materials to create contemporary objects of subtle elegance.
Julie’s objective is to create a timeless jewel of simple and sophisticated design, with a perfect balance between the best technical manufacturing and highest-quality materials, produced with respect for humans and the environment.
My art jewellery practice revolves around a search for clarity and simplicity of form. I aim to eliminate any unnecessary detail by offering a frank and direct representation of materials.
When Julie works, she starts by choosing a material which supports the idea or the emotion that she seeks to convey. After she undertakes a series of digital sketches, followed by studio experiments which lead to models and prototypes. She also abundantly explores the processes to transform the material, as well as the philosophical or mystical properties attributed to it through the ages.
Julie is unabashed workaholic. Her workday starts around 7:30 with coffee, emails, order follow ups, promo, press & marketing, social media scheduling and various other office tasks. After it’s done she heads to the bench. At the moment, as I said at the beginning, she is preparing for the One of a Kind Show in Toronto, which takes minimum 10-12 hours per day, 6-7 days per week. We wish Julie good luck with this project and looking forward to hear from her after the show and to share this very first experience!
At the moment she is also working at a series of single edition pieces and two mini collections which she’d like to launch this year.
I asked Julie to share with me what quotes inspire her. I enjoyed so much reading the answer!
Art should not deal with the “useful” or the “nice”, but with the “spiritual” and the “sublime”. The purest art forms do not cause the decorative change of some detail from life, but the inner metamorphosis of life, the revaluation of all values. Theo van Doesburg
And one more.
You leave space for the body, imagining the other part even though it isn’t there. Henry Moore
I’d like also to note that Julie is a member and supporter of Ehical Metalsmiths. Whenever possible, she chooses responsibly mined and verified, ethically sourced materials in making jewelry and strongly supports sustainable development.
The price range for her jewelry is wide, it starts from $95 and goes up high to a couple of thousands for golden pieces with precious stones and unique pieces.
You can shop them online.
Jewellery photos by Carat Studio and Athony McLean