Jean Claude
Design Drafting Artisan

Crafting the finest luxury jewels demands a refined level of expertise. At Chopard, every piece is an accomplishment born of emotion, intuition, and desire that little by little, in the hands of artisans such as Jean-Claude, transforms from an idea into a unique treasure of incomparable allure. Before a model can come to life, it must first be translated from thought to matter, from an idea to a subject of two-dimensional expression. This artisanal alchemy takes place in the design drafting workshop, where Jean-Claude exercises his time-honoured craft through emotive storytelling. At Chopard, such stories are told simultaneously, with many creations and wonders in the making, all of which are underpinned by the same ethos of heartfelt, authentic emotion.

The creative concept for a luxury jewel is first envisioned by Chopard Co-President, Caroline Scheufele, who dreams up each and every detail of a collection, set, one-of-a-kind model and special order. This is then depicted through a delicate drawing; the first graphic representation of a masterpiece to come, which like an architect's plan, serves as a visual reference for Chopard's talented craftsmen. Once approved, the drawing is inked and then coloured and everything is enhanced with gouache painting to give it more light. This illustrative technique is carried about by the same artist, who continues to follow the project on its journey through subsequent ateliers. Depending on what the draftsperson wishes to express or where they want to place the emphasis, several artistic methods may sometimes be used in the same drawing. For instance, a felt pen gives a more strongly defined finish compared to a crayon, while watercolour adds a certain sense

of transparency. A piece of luxury jewellery is always represented on a 1:1 scale and it is assumed that the light comes from the left, at a 45-degree angle. It is the rendering of light that gives the illusion of the third dimension. The shading is first done using a black pencil before washing. Applying the alternating areas of shade and light creates the illusion of volume, while colouring provides indications regarding the materials used – the colour of gold, the nature of the precious stones, their size, etc. Lined up on one of the workshop walls, large tan leather-bound works contain the original gouache paintings of previous collections, including several volumes dedicated to the Maison’s 150th anniversary luxury jewellery collection. Like portraits of a jewel, these precious miniature paintings are carefully preserved and protected from the light.

"I submit my ideas and sketches to Jean-Claude and the other Design drafting Artisans, often entering their offices bearing precious stones with which I have fallen in love, but it is up to them to figure out the best way to pay tribute to these exquisite precious gems."
Caroline Scheufele, Chopard Co-President

Jean Claude, Design drafting Artisan

The most precious and difficult technique to master is gouache painting

Artisan of emotions
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