Q & A
Can You Tell Us About Your Role in Cyprien Jewellery?
I am Christine Charles-Ventoux, the creator and designer-maker of Cyprien Jewellery.
Why Did You Become A Designer-Maker?
What can I say? My love of jewellery has always been a passion of mine. My desire to be involved in creative practice stems from my Mother.
My Mother has always been creative. Growing up in Grenada, she developed several skills including: sewing and embroidery. When she moved to England, she taught herself even more skills including crocheting and knitting. Her knitting skills are so advanced that she can read knitting patterns and rectify printed instructions, that is how talented my Mother is.
Always making time to take me to museums, galleries and ensuring that I went to the theatre to broaden my knowledge of the arts, I was inspired by how creative practitioners could transpose their emotions and their view of the world into beautiful words, artwork, lyrics, textiles. I wanted to be part of that community of people.
I developed a passion for jewellery by visiting jewellery stores with my Mother and my sister and by looking at their magazines. It made me want to make and wear jewellery.
How Did You Develop Your Jewellery Making Skills?
Approximately ten years ago, I reflected on my life. Developing my skills and knowledge in something that I had always loved, was the way to go. Following some research, I discovered a one-day course. By the end of it, I was bitten by the bug, my fingers were aching, and I produced an item of jewellery that I loved. Once I started, I could not stop. I attended other short courses and eventually took the step to go to university where I studied decorative arts and graduated with a 2.1. Since graduation, I have continued to attend courses and conduct research. I believe that lifelong learning is the way to go. For me, it was about not giving up on the dream.
WHY DO YOU STILL LOVE JEWELLERY?
It has got under my skin in the most wonderful way. I look around and I get constant inspiration, I want to continue telling stories through my jewellery and I love customers connecting with what I do. The rhythmn of creating jewellery and researching is energising. My hands get dirty but when I see those beautiful objects, it makes it more than while. It gives me purpose.
There are so many things that inspire me. From my travels to Barcelona, London, Northern Ireland, Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Grenada and New York, it has been a wonderful opportunity to feel truly inspired. From the simple things such as sitting in a street cafe and watching the world go by, experiencing different cultures through to visiting museums. I have been stimulated to create collections that are very personal for my customers to enjoy.