I often notice that there is not much choice for men, when it comes to jewelry. Or, rather, not much stylish, affordable pieces that don’t look like rock sculls and crosses. Today we are meeting a jeweler who is working on that issue, Daniel Thibault with his brand for men DANseï
Daniel worked as a graphic designer consultant for Henry Birks & Sons in 1994 – 1997. There he met Marion Cameron, the Director of the design studio. With that job he participated in different projects, including the concept of the Formula 1 Grand Prix Canada award.
Another connection which brought him closer to jewelry was Mme Odile Civitello.
Gemologist and teacher, she invited Daniel to join her studies. There he not only learned the craft but also absorbed her passion for gemology and travels in Asia.
From the early ages I like stones and minerals as well as travelling. It was a perfect source of inspiration for me!
After returning from his first journey to China in 2001 he was looking forward to new challenges. In 2003 – 2008 that challenge took a form of ZHUBAO, a jewelry brand for women.
In November 2008 Daniel traveled to Japan. He visited the Maritime Museum in Tokyo Bay. There was a whole section about the rope knots. He remembers vividly that he told himself: “Would be nice to make jewelry for men with knots”.
Years passed, since 2006 Daniel was working as a sales consultant for various jewelers and artists in Quebec.
It was autumn 2015, he was having a dinner in Ottawa. One of the 4 people at the table, his colleague-jeweler Jacques Bastien said: “Hey, Dan, why you keep working for others? You are an artist yourself, you should create jewelry!” The two other colleagues, Sonia Ferland (Bijoux Osmose) and her partner Carole Gauvin added: “Dan, absolutely. We don’t have any jewelry for men at our shop in Quebec, make us a collection!”
Briefly, this is how DANseï was born. DANseï means “men” in japanese.
In my work I am mostly inspired by the simplicity of the objects, their forms and textures. Also, I am attracted by different construction-related things, like screws and bolts. But I am a guy, isn’t it!
DANseï is the parallel activity, the main Daniel’s occupation is massage therapy shiatsu. But jewelry starts to take more and more place in his life, he is busy with it evenings and nights! Good time to work – the world is sleeping and noone can distract.
Daniel has an office for shiatsu but not for jewelry. When he works, it might be simply on his knees on the carpet, with the jewelry instruments around. Voluntary simplicity!
When I asked Daniel, what artists inspire him, he told that it is Norman Foster, an english architect. The industriel modular approach, metal and texture are, indeed, his favourites.
The price range for men’s jewelry by DANseï is $20-45 and you can get it online
or at these four shops:
Galerie – Boutique Alliage, 5 rue Petit-Champlain, Québec
Mon Shack au Québec, 161 rue Saint-Paul Est, Veux-Montréal
L’Autre Placard, 2036 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal
StoneWall Wilde’s Gallery, 370 Bank Street, Ottawa