Jean Claude
Design Drafting Artisan

There is so much know-how involved in creating luxury jewelry! At Chopard, every piece of jewelry is an accomplishment born of emotion, intuition, desire, and little by little, one operation after another, as artistic men and women, like Jean-Claude, transform this idea into a jewel of unique beauty. Before a model can come to life, it must be transferred from thought to matter, from an idea to its two-dimensional expression. Jean-Claude exercises his craft in the design drafting workshop. There is always a creation in progress at Chopard, a wonder in the making, with several stories being told simultaneously. The only requirement is that these stories must be filled with emotion!

A piece of luxury jewelry is first born in the mind of Chopard Co-President, Caroline Scheufele who takes sole responsibility for dreaming up a collection, a jewelry set, a one-of-a-kind model, a special order. The whole process begins with a drawing, the first graphic representation of a masterpiece to come. Like an architect's plan, this serves as a reference document for all the craftsmen who work on it. Once approved, the drawing is inked and then coloured and everything is enhanced with gouache painting to give it more light. The artist who created the drawing also does the gouache painting and follows-up on the project all the way through subsequent ateliers. Depending on what the draftsperson wishes to express, on where he wants to place the emphasis, several techniques may sometimes be used in the same drawing. A felt pen will not convey the same message as a crayon and the shade will be more strongly defined, while watercolour will add a certain sense

of transparency. A piece of luxury jewelry 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 jewelry collection. Like portraits of a jewel, these treasured 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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