We met up at the Messika Atelier of Dreams with Xavier, who has been a Master artisan jeweller for 5 years at the Messika Maison which makes jewelry and traditional high jewelry more accessible...
Tell us about your first day at the Messika Atelier of Dreams
I remember a young and dynamic team, and a very welcoming atmosphere. At the time, in 2015, the atelier was so small that getting around was like playing Tetris. At first, Messika High Jewelry was still in its infancy and it was incredibly exciting to take part in this adventure. Our atelier has always been a kind of experimental laboratory where Valérie Messika’s creativity comes to life.
Tell us about the process of creating a High Jewelry piece
It can go in one of two ways: the jewelry piece can be made based on the diamonds chosen by Valérie Messika, or from the sketches drawn up by the Maison’s designers. Then, the jeweller makes a first draft from gold to define the structure and shape of the piece, as well as polishing the elements that need polishing and determining the best setting. If the piece is too complex, we create a silver model manually or via 3D software. The structure is then refined, and sometimes modified, until we obtain the creator’s and artistic director’s desired result.
Do you remember your first diamond jewelry piece?
Oh yes! It was a rather unique diamond tie necklace that was adjustable in three places and could be transformed into a diamond bracelet. The creation of this High Jewelry piece was very technical and required over 200 hours of work.
What makes a good jeweller?
I would say curiosity, patience and of course, passion. You must be ambitious but have the ability to question yourself. A good jeweller can also adapt to all situations because we operate in the luxury sector which has very high standards. If a young person wishes to join this profession, he or she will have to be perseverant and show strong personal investment. At Messika, we train apprentices with different profiles, a diversity that gives us an undeniable added value.
And how about you, what path did you take?
After attending a jewelry school, I began my professional career as an apprentice in a Parisian atelier. After that, I moved between different maisons and then, 5 years ago, I joined the Messika Maison that recruited me as a result of my expertise and experience.