My name is Nicholas Favard; I'm a jeweler, a goldsmith, stone setter, a gemologist as well. And I've been in Beijing for more than 10 years now making jewelry. From something I discovered when I was 12 years old, I opened a book once and I saw a description of a craftsman. And I started my apprenticeship when I was 16 and I finished when I was 21.
This is one of my latest rings; it's titanium, gold, silver, garnet, many materials. It's for both women and men. So that's one of the last rock n' roll piece, mixed materials: wood, titanium, gold, pearl, and it's made to be worn. This brooch is a brooch pendant actually, it's a pin and a pendant; it's made out of silver, gold, jade. One of the way I work, I mixed materials for many different kinds of people.
I think China is a very appropriate place now to try new things, and to bring new, fresh air. What happens is that also is the Chinese travel a lot, there are a lot of foreigners who are moving and living in China. And they are all kind of, open-minded people, and they are willing to see new things and to try new kind of jewelry as well, so that helps to make more special items. It's according to how you feel the day you make the piece. Of course when you mix all these pieces, all my work, all the pieces together, you can see that there are lines, like common ideas, common subjects.
I think inspiration came from a lot of travelling and living in different countries. I love to watch people, I love to watch people, I love to look at them moving and see what they wear, what they like. I love making jewelry for these people because we can have dialogue, it's dialogue between me and them and the piece of jewelry. So I try to combine these all 3 elements to make something very new and special for them. I use a lot of different materials, a lot of mixed media. I can be structural; it's more like artistic jewelry. And I try to put my heart in everything I do because I make them by hand. I combine all these different materials and these different feelings in order to print something out. So some of them are very rock n' roll, some of them are very organic, some of them are very structured and very straight, very cold maybe.
I love the contact that I have with my clients, because I think most of my clients, I could be friends with my clients. They are very nice people, I just love chatting with them and I just love to hear their stories. And I want to enjoy that life because I think when we receive a piece of jewelry it's the beginning of a story, and we need to live with this piece of jewelry, and this piece of jewelry has to live with us, so we build this story. I love that transmission as well of saying, "I got that ring from my Grandpa, and now it's your time to wear it" You are part of the story. That's why I use strong materials: titanium, gold, silver. You know, the most difficult part in creation is to create, luxury is in the details, it's in the well made, and it's in the story. When you open a magazine and you see brand names, and they are not selling luxury anymore, they are selling that you have reached a social level, a goal to afford these kinds of things.
I didn't come to China to open a business, to make a business. I just came here to travel, learn the language, have fun, enjoy life. And it just happened, years after years that I started to have more clients and more people requesting my jewelry, then I opened a shop. It's not easy everyday to have to live in a foreign country I think, but it's also Beijing, I think that they have a lot of energy; because everything that you see here is new, and everybody has energy to try new things. Even if it doesn't work, it's okay; you're not here to be judged somehow. I am from France, and in France it's very, you know, you don't start your own company before you are 35 or 40 years old, especially in that field.
When I arrive in the morning in my workshop and I sit down, and I say, "Okay, what do we have here around, what materials do we have and what do we do?" And there's a kind of improvisation, that's also something that China brought me I think, that need to improvise. Because you know how it is now, but you don't know how it's going to be tomorrow, so you always need to deal with what you have. They all come with a different background and a different insight and ideas, so we need to be very adaptable. Yeah, it's a moment of happiness, you know? When you start to look for an idea and it's difficult, you're not exactly satisfied. You slowly build up a structure, a sculpture, a shape and then you say, "Yeah, that's it. That's what I wanted to express".