What makes a Haute joaillerie / high jewelry collection? It’s a novelty jewelry design idea. It is patience in collecting gems, taking years to find rare gems. And crafting techniques make jewelry like works of art.
Learn about cartier’s fine jewelry making techniques
Today, join Harper’s Bazaar to learn about high-end jewelry-making techniques from Cartier. The French jeweler reveals some of the techniques applied to its latest Haute joaillerie collection, Beautés du Monde.
Born in the 1950s, “trembling” or “en Tremblant” is a technique for creating fluttering movements in jewelry. Each piece of jewelry – pistil, butterfly wings, for example – uses a spring system when put together. The trembling technique is preferred for designs inspired by nature when it can depict a lifelike look.
Beading is thought to be an ordinary jewelry-making technique, but it actually originates from the high-end jewelry industry. This technique cannot be learned in a school but is only passed on from one profession to another. An artisan at the Cartier workshop usually has to practice this technique for more than 10 years.
To make a luxurious necklace, it is necessary to start with beautiful gemstones. The stone selection process is extremely meticulous. With a keen eye, gemologists will screen and identify stones that meet the criteria. They then classified them by color, diameter, thickness and hole size.
Traditionally, beads are strung on strings made of cotton or silk. In recent years, Cartier has used ultra-small and durable twine from Kevlar. This is an ultra-light but durable material that is difficult to rust or change shape under high temperatures.
Chaining techniques have two difficulties: First, the design must be respected (curves, alignment, etc.). Second, must achieve the necessary softness to ensure comfortable wearing.
On some artifacts, depending on the designer’s intentions, a few small stones will be attached. The stones are cut by hand and added during shaping to fit the design as closely as possible. This technique is called “sur oeuvre” in French, which means “to make shoes”. This job is only reserved for the most professional cutters because it requires experience and super skills.
In order for the jewelry to have a soft look, the artist will add as many small invisible links as possible. With the Iwana necklace, every little detail is meticulously arranged and fixed with tiny links. The result is a piece of jewelry that is flexible when worn.
The brand’s artisans are free to be creative, with the sole aim of keeping the metal details as thin as possible to bring out the sparkle of the gems.
Cartier is constantly developing high-end jewelry-making techniques. The jeweler uses methods that have emerged throughout the history of the brand, as well as incorporating cutting-edge techniques. Each Cartier artisan masters intricate ancient techniques as well as modern innovations.
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