ジュエリー&ピープル Nadia Morgenthaler(ナディア・モルゲンターラー)スイスの新鋭ハイジュエラー

技術向上に取り組む、ナディア・モルゲンターラー

「私は、クリエイティブなジュエラーだと思っている。それも素敵なものが好きで、技術面にも果敢に挑戦していく。私の作品は見た目だけではなく、それぞれの制作方法において完璧なの」と自信満々のスイスの高級ジュエラー、ナディア・モルゲンターラー。

この言葉に彼女のすべての才能が包括されていなくとも、その通りだと私は思います。複雑な造形を美しく融合させることに情熱を傾ける優れたアーティスト。すべては、ほとばしる想像力から発せられます。

創造の全過程(デザインと制作)において、彼女の頭と時間は、完璧な作品の完成に費やされます。たとえ美しさが主観的なものだとしても、それは、確かな質に裏打ちされたものであることには間違いなく、それこそが彼女の作品を輝かせる所以なのです。

自身の工房を運営しながら、高級ジュエリーにおいて試作を繰り返し、技術を重ねてきた一人として、仲間たちとともに常に既存の殻を打ち破ってきました。現在のロマンチックで柔和な作品は、熟練した細工師のレベルであり、それは洗練されたパステルの色合い、金属の卓越した組み合わせ、そして希少な天然パール使いに見られます。精巧な作品リストは、ナディアの作品の本質と定義づけられていますが、御墨付きの高級ジュエリーにありがちな威圧感はありません。

Text=Olivier Dupon

Q1 何があなたをジュエリーデザインへと駆り立てるのでしょう?

NM 頭にあるアイデアがぼんやりと浮かんだら、それをどんなふうに進化させるかその過程を考え、感動するのが好き。下描きに始まり、厳選された宝石やパールをセッティングした3Dの触れられるものになる重要な制作段階へと進み、最後に完成品となる。製品の成功が見えた時、制作を始める段階で感じた時よりも大きな感動を実感することができるの。

Q2 かつてのコンテンポラリー/コンセプチュアルジュエラーとしてのあなたと今のハイジュエラーとの間にはまだ「つながり」がありますか?

NM もちろんよ。創造の方法に関して密接なつながりがある。現在と過去で同じ工程を当てはめてきた。ただしコンテンポラリー/コンセプチュアルジュエリーは、身につけられること、または素材にはあまり高価なものを使用しない。昔ながらの技術をその限界まで推し進める点も同じ。境界を広げることは、効率の良い技術的な解決策の助けにもなるのよ。

Q3 あなたの工房についてもう少し詳しく教えてください。

NM 私の工房は、仕事の質の高さではとてもよく知られているわ。仲間たちはエキスパートで、自身の仕事についても厳しい人たち。期待に応えてくれる質の高い仕事をしてくれるわ。工房は、まさに解決策を探す実験室。設立して20年経つけれど、特別なジュエリー作品を制作できる場所よ。

Q4 ブラックシルバー、レッドゴールド、合金の難しさとメリットについて聞かせてください。

NM 短所は、2つの金属を混ぜることが難しいこと。2つの融点と張力が違うため、変形してしまう。長所は、酸化銀は、見た目がよくなること。黒の色合いは、宝石に個性を与え強調させる効果がある。それに古の世界の息吹を思い起こさせる。レッドゴールドについては、作品に力強さをプラスするし完成度も高くなるの。2つの色のコントラストは、モチーフを強調してくれるわね。

Q5 1点1点とても繊細で美しく、熟練の職人の卓越した技が見られます。コレクターにそれを認識してもらうために、啓蒙していますか。

NM 本当にその点を伝えるのは、とても重要なこと。宝石に美しさと個性をプラスする質の高い仕事に、職人の時間をかけた技。宝石が高価になるのはそのため。まさに「時は金なり」よね。

Q6 ところで、なぜ天然パールにこだわるのでしょうか?

NM 私は、やわらかくて虹色を放つパールがとても好きなの。パールは数々のおとぎ話に出てくるでしょう? 例えば『千夜一夜物語』、マハラジャの空想やロシア皇帝の暮らしとか……私はいつもそんな話にうっとりしてしまうの。その上自然からの贈り物、本来の美しさを表すには何ら手を加える必要を感じていないわ。

Q7 制作スタイルには歴史から影響を受けたものはありますか?

NM 2つ以上あるわ。例えば若い頃、中世のアートに興味があって、その代表的なものが絵や服やジュエリーだった。それに金属の建物(工業建築物)や1900年代の建築にも影響されたわね。

www.nadia-morgenthaler.com

ナディア パールリング拡大

K18レッドゴールド・シルバー・パール・トルマリン・天然真珠・ダイヤモンド リング。 Ring in 18K red gold and silver set with natural pearls, tourmalines and diamonds.

ナディア スピネル+ダイヤリング拡大

K18レッドゴールド・シルバー・天然真珠・スピネル・ダイヤモンド リング。 Ring in 18K red gold and silver set with natural pearls, spinel and diamonds.

ナディア スピネル+パール イヤリング拡大

K18レッドゴールド・シルバー・天然真珠・ピンクスピネル・ダイヤモンド イヤリング。 Earrings in 18K red gold and silver set with natural pearls, pink spinels and diamonds.

Nadia Morgenthaler

“I believe that I am a creative jeweller, who likes nice things and revels in technical challenges. This is why my creations are perfected in every way, not only their visible parts”, Swiss fine jeweller Nadia Morgenthaler says. Although not nearly encompassing all of her talents, this quote sums it all up. How to reconcile beauty with complexity is her preoccupation, and as for any accomplished artist, this stems from an ebullient imagination. The whole creative process (design and making) is what occupies her mind and time in her quest to achieve perfection. Although subjective in regards to aesthetics, this notion can certainly be measured when it comes to quality, and there, Morgenthaler shines. At the helm of her own atelier, one of the most skilful in dealing and experimenting with the many challenges of high jewellery, she along her colleagues, incessantly breaks out of the mould. Behind the romantic softness of her current creations (although she eagerly points out that this is not set in stone as her aesthetics are not bound to one single concept) resides the utmost level of craftsmanship, alongside sophisticated pastel hues, ingenious mixing of metals, and rare natural pearls. This list of exquisite attributes defines the essence of Morgenthaler’s creations, jewellery with the hallmarks of haute joaillerie minus the often-intimidating aura attached to it.

www.nadia-morgenthaler.com

Olivier Dupon – What makes you passionate about jewellery design?

Nadia Morgenthaler First and foremost creative freedom! I am fascinated by how thought processes develop, from an abstract idea that emerges in my brain and triggers an emotional response, via the first draft sketch through to the crucial final making phases where it becomes a 3D tangible item, for which gemstones and pearls have been carefully chosen and calibrated. The end result is to achieve perfection in terms of the proportions, the thickness, the finishing and details. It is only when the final product is a success that I am engulfed by an even greater emotion than the one I felt at the beginning.

OD – Have you had a defining moment / an epiphany that prompted your career?

NM –I was 15 when I discovered the art of jewellery making and designing and it was during my first year at the Geneva École Des Arts Decoratifs, in which I enrolled initially to become a graphic designer. Growing up in a family that had nothing to do with the jewellery world, I had no idea that one could become a jewellery maker; I did not even know it existed. This realisation made me change course, and this is precisely when I decided that I would become a jeweller.

OD – Prior to jewellery designing, what was your background?

NM – I primarily trained to design and make jewellery. That said I have always drawn and created small objects. It comes from an urge to make things with my hands and let my imagination wander. Black and white photography has also been pivotal in my career: how to compose an image, achieve a balance between the black and the white, the same way one has to play with empty spaces in a jewel. Uncannily the way a photograph is revealed by a chemical process involving silver is the same as the way – also by silver oxidation – that my jewellery pieces reveal their ultimate aspects.

OD – What is the importance of ‘authenticity’ in your work?

NM – It Is essential; I cannot contemplate working other than with total authencity. Nothing matters more than being in tune with my own values. It is true that today’s excessive pressure on exposure (digital and all) does not help one stay authentic; we are indeed bombarded with concepts and ideas that could influence us. That is why hand working is so important to me: this how I can reconnect with my true self.

OD – What is the best memory you associate with your creations?

NM – The emotion I feel each time I see a finished piece, all the more if it is a resounding success. The satisfaction to have achieved beautiful jewels that then are brought to life by my clients.

OD – What personality traits do you have that have led you to where you are today?

NM – Persistence, creativity, a sense of perfection, technical acumen and sensitivity.

OD – Is there still a ‘link’ between your past as a contemporary / conceptual jeweller and your present as a high jeweller?

NM – Yes indeed. There is continuity in terms of the creative approach. I have applied the same processes in both areas. With contemporary / conceptual jewellery, wearability or the value of the materials are not paramount. There is also a drive to push the boundaries of traditional techniques. This has definitely broadened my horizons and helped me devise clever technical solutions. The sky is the limit; there is always a solution.

OD – How would you best describe your creative philosophy?

NM – I have to be touched by what I create, this is essential. I endeavour to seek beauty, perfection and sensitivity!

OD – Is it possible to totally free-flow / experiment or does one always need to follow certain rules?

NM – Of course one can free-flow, however this requires some sacrifices and it is also quite time consuming. That said total creative freedom is very important to me, and that is why I have organised my work in a way that I can keep that freedom.

OD – How have your work aesthetics changed/evolved since the beginning?

NM – It has been a steady process, just as when one builds a tower one brick at a time. Each new creation provides new sources of knowledge, new ideas, which all help evolve my aesthetics. It is on going and perpetual.

OD – Would you agree that your jewels are high jewellery pieces for everyday?

NM – For me it does not matter. What is important is that the person who wears them feels good and free to wear them whenever she feels like it. No matter what day or time of the day it is.

OD – Can you please tell us more about your atelier?

NM – My atelier is well known for the superlative quality of its work. My colleagues are ingenious experts, who are also very demanding about their own work. This is a level of quality that I expect from my partners and myself. Our workshop is a laboratory where we seek solutions. It was created 20 years ago and we can create truly exceptional jewellery pieces.

OD – Is there a particular technique that is a signature of your work?

NM – Paying attention to every aspect of a rendition, not just the visible ones. It is important to follow through an idea into every little detail.

OD – Blackened silver, red gold…. Can you tell us more about the difficulties and advantages of mixing metals?

NM – The cons reside in the fact that it is difficult to mix the two metals. Their melting point and tension are very different so that it causes them to distort. It is also impossible to cast and so it is very time consuming. The pros are more cosmetic when it comes to the oxidised silver. The black hue adds character and enhances the gemstones. It also evokes an old world vibe. As for red gold, it reinforces the strength of a piece and helps finish it well. By contrast its colour also underlines the motifs.

OD – Although very delicate and pretty, each piece is a feat of craftsmanship. Do you have to educate your collectors so they understand this duality?

NM – Yes indeed. It is vital to communicate this aspect since it is the very quality of our work that confers its beauty and uniqueness to the jewel. Also all this intense craftsmanship takes time and although this is the very reason why the jewellery turns out to be highly precious, time is money.

OD – Could the aesthetics of your creations be defined by the concept of neo-classic romance? (Soft and sophisticated colour palette, pearls, mille grain setting, etc)

NM – I do not think my aesthetic can be defined by a concept. It is just my creative style, and I don’t feel like labelling it since it keeps evolving. What my creations evoke today may be very different from what my future creations will evoke.

OD – By the way, where does your love for natural pearls come from?

NM – I do not really know. That said, I have always been fascinated by pearls, their softness and iridescence. They belong to fairy tales, the one thousand and one night reverie, Maharaja fantasy and Russian tsar decorum…they have always made me dream. Besides it is a gift from nature, no need to cut or process it in order to reveal its intrinsic beauty.

OD – Is there a historical inspiration behind your creative style?

NM – There must be more than one source of inspiration. When I was younger, the art of the Middle Ages interested me, and above all its representations in painting, clothing and jewellery. That said I am also inspired by metallic constructions (industrial buildings) and the 1900s architecture.

OD – In this day and age of ultra availability and immediacy (social media), how can one preserve confidentiality and rarity?

NM – It is rather difficult to stay confidential these days. One should keep some things hidden. In short, this brings us back to the issue of authenticity, since the latter is hardly compatible with immediacy.

OD – How do you position yourself next to other independent private high jewellers?

NM – I do not compare myself to other jewellers. I simply strive to create beautifully executed pieces and keep my independence while doing so.

OD  – When it comes to a collector buying one of your jewels, how would you advise them to choose?

NM – It depends on the profile of the collector. First and foremost he/she should be drawn to and touched by the chosen piece. This is essential.

OD  – How is it to be a woman designing (mostly) for women?

NM – It is very pleasant. I pay a lot of attention to the comfort of my creations, and I simply create jewels that I would like to wear. Each piece must sit nicely on the body and highlight a person’s face.

OD – What is your vision of the high jewellery field at the moment?

NM – There is effervescence amongst jewellers with strong individuality and visions. Times are changing, creativity has been liberated, and a lot of new interesting players are emerging.

Text=Olivier Dupon

Olivier Dupon is a 21st century tastemaker and author of Fine Jewelry Couture (2016), SHOE (2015), Encore! The New Artisans (2015, Floral Contemporary (2014), The New Pâtissiers (2013), The New Jewelers (2012) and The New Artisans (2011), all published by Thames & Hudson.

INSTAGRAM <https://instagram.com/olivierdupon>

クンツァイト イヤリング拡大

K18WG・シルバー・天然真珠・クンツァイト・ダイヤモンド イヤリング。 Earrings in 18K white gold and silver set with natural pearls, kunzites and diamonds.

ナディア パール+ダイヤモンド ネックレス拡大

K18WG・シルバー・天然真珠・ダイヤモンド・ネックレス。 Necklace in 18K white gold and silver set with natural pearls and diamonds.

ポートレイト拡大

Nadia Morgenthaler(ナディア・モルゲンターラー)