– By Naïke Bravo
Baies d’Erelle is one of the most, if not the most, popular Swiss jewelry label. The creations, one more beautiful than the other, ravish lovers of semi-precious stones and design. The brand is founded by Erelle, a young lovely lady, with a passion for stones. Luxeday reveals the inspiration, the choosing process of semi-precious stones that makes Baies d’Erelle so special.
How was Baies d’Erelle born?
Twelve years ago, I arrived in Geneva with a costumier diploma to work in this field. I then venture in the world of creators and work in a boutique in Lausanne. At this time, I already make my own jewelry. My boss offers me to make some pieces for the shop I work at; the customers like them and ask for more. Baies d’Erelle is then on its way, growing little by little until the shop opening in Lausanne.
What are your 3 main sources of inspiration?
I have three recurrent ones. Firstly, the twenties, mainly in the first collections. I love this period because it represents a groundbreaking evolution for cultural codes: it’s the time of body liberation and the beginning of women’s emancipation. The art nouveau and art deco aesthetics also inspire me a lot. Secondly, the tribal, ethnic looks. The gris-gris necklaces were a common theme in my first collections. Finally, the seventies, the hippie-folk. This is the universe in which I grew up with my parents and that stays one of my guiding thread.
Tell us about your 3 favorite semi-precious stones
My three favorites are pink quartz, smoky quartz and amethyst, even if today I am more into labradorite and amazonite. Each stone has its own meaning and possesses its own positive balanced effects. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t always be looking for the meaning of the stones or what it can bring us, but let ourselves be guided by what instinctively attracts us.
How do you select the semi-precious stones you work with?
I select them according to their cut, their size, but I mostly work with quartz , amethyst and agate. Most of the stone come from South America because these are the best mineral deposits at the moment. I work with two suppliers in France with ethics close to mine.
What do you mean by “ethic organic”?
I mainly work brass and copper chains (knowing that brass is a 90% copper and 10% zinc alloy). Very early, I was seduced by copper for its appearance, the rosy shade that with time becomes a pretty patina, as well as for its physical properties and its symbolics. Copper is one of the first metals used by men. The ancient ethnic represented it through the symbol of fertility. Long appreciated for its curative virtues, the Australian scientist Dr. W.R. Walker proved in the 70s that copper has a powerful anti-inflammatory action.
All my chains and etchings are mainly made in France and Germany. As for now, all the semi-precious stones transit through China because there you can find the best stone cutters ; they are the most accurate and the most proper ones. My stone supplier in Paris works with several gem cutters. My creations are then assembled by jeweler craftsmen in Paris working for Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent. Some of my creations are then golden in pale gold color by one of the oldest gilder craftsmen house in Paris which is also working for Balmain, Gucci, Chanel…
What are the steps in the creation of a new collection?
The process is not linear. I am often guided by a main theme. These last collections, I have been inspired by indian astrology. This winter’s collection will be on ancient indian mythology.
Sometimes, it happens that I create a collection based on a stone, a size, a search for balance… or also based on a body to enhance.