Jewellery model-making artisan

Jewellery masterpieces

Upon approaching Laura's workbench in our High Jewellery workshops, one would think one was discovering a veritable treasure trove of sparkling and colourful objects. But make no mistake, the abundance of fine jewellery masterpieces to be found there are in fact no more valuable than imitations made for opera costume jewellery! A luxury jewellery model-making Artisan exercising her talents in our workshops since 2018, Laura shapes these models using pewter and crystals. They will guide the work of the other Artisans in crafting the actual model from gemstones and precious metals .

[A note is sustained in the background on string instruments]

(On-screen text: Chopard presents)

(Laura is in her workshop, wearing a white coat embroidered with "Chopard Genève". She sketches a necklace made of an eagle with diamond feathers onto tracing paper, then uses it to cut the shape out on a sheet of metal.)

I've always drawn, I used to paint with my Mum. I'd show her my paintings and ask: What do you think? And it was in her studio that I was inspired to draw like her.

(On-screen text: ART, from the Latin ARS, ARTIS. Talent, skill, dexterity.)

[Soft piano music plays]

(On-screen text: The word ART becomes ARTISAN.)

(On-screen text: From expertise to emotion. Chopard)

(A black and white graphite sketch of the palm of a hand, surrounded by the words EXPERTISE, CREATIVITY, EMOTION.)

We often say that jewellers have "hands of gold".

(A portrait of Laura.)

(On-screen text: Laura, Jewellery Model Maker)

You could say I have "hands of tin".

(In her workshop, Laura polishes the metal cutout of the bird's wings. She welds two pieces of metal together, selecting different tools to sculpt the material and shape seats for the stones to come.)

I'm a jeweller model maker at Chopard. It was quite natural for me to use tools, I wasn't nervous because at my grandfather's house, I played with nails, little boats. To be a good model maker, you have to listen. You have to have an artistic temperament and sensibility.

(Laura places the necklace onto a mannequin bust and begins to set the stones in place.)

It's something I feel compelled to do to express my artistic flair.

(On-screen text: Three-dimensional plastiline model)

(Laura sculpts a model of the bird's head, adding details and stones. She compares her work to the original picture.)

I think that through lots of observation, the eye educates itself and lets you know what is beautiful and what isn't beautiful. I never think I'll get it right first time. So it gives me a small thrill to think: How am I going to do this?

(On-screen text: Conducting prototype trials from paper)

(Laura cuts out sketches of floral shapes and uses them as templates to sculpt metal petals and leaves.)

Because it isn't by looking once, but a hundred times, that you find that little spark that will change the volume, that will tell you if it's something you really like, that tells you the piece is coming to life and has a new kind of strength.

(On-screen text: Sculpting pewter)

We're always inspired by nature in jewellery making.

(On-screen text: Pewter reproduction of the pattern)

(Laura shapes the metal petals into flowers, using a real flower to guide her.)

If the gouache design depicts a rose, I will draw inspiration from books with roses inside or photos that I've taken, and I thus try to find what might go together.

(On-screen text: Setting crystals)

(Laura sets a line of tiny crystals along the edges of the flower. Once it has taken shape, she holds it up against a model to make sure the final form is perfect.)

I feel really lucky to be able to do this work because I think it's unique and because, at Chopard, I have the chance to add my own personal touch.

(On-screen text: Reproducing pistils)

(Laura adds colour to tiny pistils for her flower.)

I've always liked the Maison for its colourful and feminine side.

(The model tries on the sparkling eagle necklace and Laura looks on.)

We don't know why exactly, but we're a bit magical, all of us, and we often forget that.

(On-screen text: Chopard - The artisan of emotions - Since 1860)

"As a child, I loved nothing more than drawing and playing with the tools in my grandfather’s workshop. This learning process is extremely valuable to me today in sculpting my pewter models."

Laura, Jewellery Model-Making Artisan

Laura, jewellery model-making artisan

Trained in drawing from a very young age, our luxury jewellery model-making Artisan is an interpreter of beauty. Her mission is to give shape to the jewels sketched by the designers in order to create their first three-dimensional representation. There are no gold and diamonds for Laura, as she works with pewter, an extremely malleable metal that she can fashion more swiftly according to her ideas and her interpretation of the model. Unlike the fine jewellery-sculpting Artisan who uses wax, she has the option of enhancing her model with white or coloured crystals, which simulate precious stones and give a rough idea of the brilliance and colours that the real jewel will have.

The model

This is extremely useful forthose who will have to select the stones used according to their size and colour for the original model. This model will be used by the workshop manager, lapidaries, jewellers and gemsetters to understand the shapes and specific characteristics of the piece of luxury jewellery to come during its production. Such important preparatory work saves a lot of time for the entire workshop and makes the project much easier to visualise, since they will follow the three-dimensional ‘template’ that Laura's expertise has enabled her to prepare with the utmost precision.

From expertise to emotions

Our mains d'art