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Contemporary Jewellery

\zest\ feeling of enjoyment enthusiasm excitement energy piquancy

Introducing A


fter several years of creative practice in the field of painting, sculpture and photography,

we got in touch with contemporary jewellery by hazard. Immediately fascinated by the interaction of the infinite design possibilities and the jewel’s inherent limitations we decided in May 2014 to learn contemporary jewellery by traveling, encounters with other jewelers and trial and error in order to go our very own way. Together, we form “Zest”.


t is in memory to our good friend Tom Ollivier that we decided to name ourselves “Zest.” Unfor-

tunately, Tom left us much too early in May 2012. Signing his works “zest”, it’s him who gave us the passion of artistic expression. Observation, versatility and the importance of finding a very personal style - that’s what caracterised Tom and what we try to perpetuate with “Zest”.

Vincent Chartier

french, * 1991 It has always been clear to me the I wanted to work with

Since Delphine wanted to change her work conditions

my hands. At the age of 16 I quit school and started an

either, we thought: why not start something together?

apprenticeship as plasterer with a specialization in stucco

I was already painting for several years, so I was looking

at the association “Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour

for a profession that enables me to work with my hands

de France” (Companions of the Duty and Turn of France)

and to express myself.

Plaster is a material I was immediately attracted to of its

Jewellery immidiately fascinated me: designing shapes

wide range of techniques and the many ways to work

for the body, working the metal. Contemporary jewel-

with. Although it is widely used in the building industry,

lery is giving me the freedom to express myself, it gives

plaster bears also endless artistic possibilites. After five

me the opportunity to travel, to explore foreign cultures,

years I left the association - I felt too restricted, it was

techniques and materials, to exchange with others. Hav-

impossible to me to develop my full creativity. Moreover,

ing chosen to travel and being self-taught is still to me

being plasterer is a very physical activity, so I started to

the best decision I could have made, because even if it

have backproblems. At that time it was clear to me that I

requiers a lot of effort, it is much more rewarding to me.

had to find something else.

Delphine Nölke german, * 1988

Born and educated in Germany, I came to France in

industry, I quit a system. I did not want to go back to

2012, where I met Vincent and never left since. With a

school and follow someone elses’ path. So the idea to

B.A. in journalism and cinematic studies I first worked in

learn a profession by travelling and trial and error came

the audiovisual and communication industry. Very soon,

very naturally.

I started to rethink how I wanted to work. Sitting behind

And then there is something else, maybe a kind of re-

the screen in the office, my hands reduced to their fin-

bellion against all these industrially manufactured, mean-

gers tapping on the keypad, producing nothing concrete

ingless objects that flood the market. I wanted to create

one can touch - it felt wrong to me.

objects that are part of a story and that are able to evoke

With Vincent we started to think about an alternative,

something in the viewer. And piece by piece things fell in

something we could build together. I was looking for

place, almost as if jewellery found me. The more I started

freedom, I wanted to create something concrete with

to think about the jewel, the more I got intrigued. I got

my hands and express myself. For me, I quit not only an

hooked. And now, jewellery is always on my mind.



our work

Our work is above all a quest for pleasure: the

play, a play with shapes, a play with the body,

pleasure of creating the jewel for us; the plea-

an exploration of space and materials.

sure to wear and look at it for others. We have no pinpointed formal language, we The idea comes always first. Since we never

try to keep it as diversified as possible. We do

took courses on a jewellery school, we cannot

not refer to any style, at least not consciously.

hide behind technique. We want our jewellery

When we work, we explore, we follow our in-

reduced to the essential. We want it accessible,

tuition, we do not force it, we try to let it come

speaking directly to the viewer. Understandable

naturally. Some jewels come to us, they pop up

without prior knowledge especially not in the

in our mind, some jewels start from an idea and

field of contemporary jewellery.

become something else in the making.

When we say essential, we do not mean minimalist. We are looking for clear designs and

Jewellery is for us inevitabely connected with

sharp shapes.

the traditional jewellery techniques, means the work of metal. Although the borders be-

For us, the most direct access to the viewer

tween wearable objects and jewellery tend to

passes through beauty, a universal language

be blurred in the field of contemporary jewel-

and yet perceived differently by each person.

lery, we understand the pieces that we make as

We are convinced that beauty, however mys-

jewellery - made for the body and meant to be

terious it may be, is a fundamental need. Hu-


manity never came to understand the essence of beauty and we do not have ultimate wisdom,

We only use natural materials. We work mainly

therefore our approach is intuitive and explor-

with silver, sometimes with bronze. Our cur-


rent work is mostly made of mammoth ivory, coral, horn, seashells and nacre - materials we

Soldering a ring.


Wearing jewellery is for us pure pleasure and

brought back from our four-month journey to

designing jewellery is nothing serious. It is a

Southern Morocco.


The Quest

for Zest “The Quest for Zest” is initially the name of our blog, a kind of logbook with which we document the evolution of our project from the very beginning on. Our aim was on one hand to share our experiences and to show the evolution of our work in order to introduce our readers to contemporary jewellery. On the other hand we wanted to encourage people to think out of the box and to leave the beaten tracks. As we explained in the introduction text, we decided not to attend a jewellery school but to

4 months in Tiznit

in 4 minutes

learn jewellery by the means of traveling, encounters and trial and error. And it is only in retrospect that we realized how well the word “quest” fits the project. Because it really turned out to be a quest. We are not only discovering the field of contemporary jewellery, we also dis-

To watch our video Tiznit - A Jewellery Journey to South Morocco flash the QR-Code or go on

cover techniques, other cultures and different ways to work. One cannot find what he isn’t looking for and really fast we recognized that our approach had to be very active. Forcing us constantly to push ourselves further, forcing us to be aware of what we want to do, of what we want to learn.


The final trigger for our decision against a jewellery school was our encounter with Julie Decubber, a french contemporaray jewellery designer, who traveled herself and who told us about Tiznit, a town in the middle of nowhere in Southern Morocco, where silversmithing has a very long tradition. Some years ago she had been there herself working in a traditional jewellery workshop for a month. So we decided to pack our bags and try our luck. We hurled into this adventure without much preparation - first of all because with Moroccans you cannot plan, you have to live from day to day. And when we finally got there it was very easy to get in contact with the jewelers and after several days we found Ahmed El Guerche, in Tiznit not only well known for his jewellery but also a respected local figure. Ahmed received us in his studio where we worked everyday side by side, together with his three employees, his brother Abdelwahed, Ali, a jeweler, and Simo, an engraver. Ahmed, Ali, Abdelwahed and Simo taught us a lot, they taught us the essential jewellery tech-

niques and they intoduced us to Morrocan and Touareg jewellery. But especially Ahmed taught From left to right: Ahmed on his workbench, Ali on the polishing machine, Abdelwahed cleaning his filings

us a lot more. He taught us the love for silver, he taught us to make with what we got and has the same passion for jewellery, spending himself almost all of his time in his jewellery workshop. He is one of the most genereous and sincere people we ever met, and we all could learn a lot from him about life.

Endless horizons of Morocco.

Place El Mechouar, Tiznit.

Much more things could be said about these four months that we spend in Tiznit, where you still find traditional Moroccan life and where tourism is yet less developed than in other parts of the country. This journey - only the first amongst others - not only taught us about jewellery. It changed our way of seeing things and it doubtless had an impact on how we approach jewellery, on how we work and on how we live.

Left: Ahmed’s son playing with the polishing machine. Right: Tiznit’s foundary.

Dressed up as traditional berber bride and groom.

Back in France since March, we converted a store-room into our first studio where we work since July. Of course our wanderlust is still strong, as soon as possible we’ll pack again our bags to discover foreign jewellery cultures. Our next destination ? We haven’t decided - yet.

Studio transformation.

Jeweler’s bench at Ahmed’s workshop.


Overview Necklaces




Canvas II


High Expectations



Arc I

Arc II

Same Same


Noir Désir


page 18

page 26

page 21

page 21

page 20

page 22


page 16

page 16


page 19


page 21

page 15

page 15

page 19

page 19




Boxes I

HIgh 5

Boxes II













page 19

page 27

page 17

page 23

page 29

page 14

page 14

page 17

page 24

page 25

page 30

page 31

page 21 & 29

page 28

page 17

page 20

page 30



Planetopia I

page 20 & 25


Planetopia II page 20 & 23


page 18


page 24

EntrelacĂŠs page 14

Materials Mammoth ivory





Mammoth tusk ivory comes

Precious coral or red coral

Horn is the pointed projection

This soft, white, lustrous and

One of the earliest metals

from the two upper incisors

(Corallium rubrum) grow on

on the head of various animals

precious metal possesses the

known to man, bronze is an

of a mammal called woolly

rocky seabottom, typically in

consisting of a covering of

highest electrical and thermal

alloy made of copper and tin.

mammoth (Mammuthus primi-

dark environments. Its main

keratin and other proteins sur-

conductivity and reflectivity

In contrary to silver, bronze is

genius) who has been extinct

characteristic is its durable

rounding a core of live bone.

of any metal. More abundant

a hard, brittle metal with gold-

for at least 10,000 years. It

and intensely colored red or

It is a hard, smooth material

than gold, it has numerous

en colour. It is often confused

is found in Alaska and Rus-

pink hard skeleton. It is found

and easy to shape since it is

applications beyond jewelry

with brass, an alloy of copper

sia. The now fossilized ivory

mainly in the Mediterranean

thermoplastic. In many spe-

and silverware. The majority

and zinc, although they have

tusks are a very rare and pre-

Sea and has become rare

cies only males have horns,

of silver is today in the ser-

different properties. Bronze is

cious material, buried deep

because of intensive and il-

they grow throughout the life

vice of industrial production.

for example much harder than

within the permafrost. Sibe-

legal fishing. It is since time

of the animal. Horns have al-

Sterling silver (925) is an alloy

brass. Humans have been

rian mythology tells us that

believed to be endowed with

ways been an important sym-

of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of

working with bronze for over

mammoths roamed the land

mysterious sacred properties.

bol throughout history and

other metals, usually copper,

3,000 years in various parts

many, many years ago, shap-

Its origin is explained in Greek

cultures. The Egyptian God-

since pure silver is too soft for

of the world, using it amon-

ing the earth by moving mud

mythology by the story of Per-

desses Isis and Hathor for ex-

producing functional objects.

gts other things for weapons,

with their tusks, creating riv-

seus : having placed Medusa’s

ample, are both depicted with

The Latin word for “silver”, ar-

coins, tableware, statues and

ers where they walked, and

decapitated head on the riv-

cow horns connecting them

gentum, comes from the Indo-

jewelry. Bronze starts as a soft

forming lakes where they had

erbank, her blood had turned

with creation, the moon, and

European root *arg-, meaning

golden hue and ages into a

lain down.

the seaweed into red coral.

motherly energy.

“white” or “shining”.

deep metallic brown.


Curved (2015)

Mammoth ivory, sterling silver 2,5 x 2,2 , 2,1 cm

Boxes I (2015)

Mammoth ivory, sterling silver, bronze Size 54 / 1,2 x 1,2 cm

EntrelacĂŠs (2015)

Mammoth ivory, sterling silver, bronze 3,1 x 3,7 cm


Arc I (2015)

Arc II (2015)

1,4 x 8,1 x 1,5 cm

7,5 x 2,5 x 1,5 cm

Mammoth ivory, sterling silver, bronze, coton thread

Mammoth ivory, sterling silver, bronze, coton thread


MĂŠduse (2015)

PĂŠgase (2015)

2,3 x 5,1 x 0,9 cm

4,4 x 2,0 x 1,4 cm

Mammoth ivory, coral, sterling silver, coton thread


Mammoth ivory, coral, sterling silver, coton thread

Enroulade (2014) Coral, sterling silver

Size 56 / 3,2 x 2,2 x 1,0 cm

Bridge (2015)

Coral, sterling silver Size 56 / 2,4 x 2,4 cm

Marinière (2015)

Mammoth ivory, coral, sterling silver Size 52 / 2,5 x 1,0 cm


Beyond (2015)

Piece of plate found on the riverside, sterling silver 2,5 x 5,5 cm

Essaouira (2014)

Moroccan fayence found on beach near Essaouira, sterling silver


Same Same (2015)

Seashell, mammoth ivory, sterling silver, cotton thread 6,4 mm x 4,1 cm

Noir DĂŠsir (2014)

Seashell, sterling silver 2,7 x 5,8 cm

Trophy (2015)

Seashell, sterling silver, bronze Size 52 / 2,7 x 2,8 cm

Tiznit (2014)

Seashell, formika, sterling silver, cotton thread 3,8 x 5,7 cm


Pentagone (2015)

Mammoth ivory, sterling silver, bronze

16,2 x 16,2 cm

Up! (2015)

Coral, sterling silver

Planetopia I & II (2015) Horn, sterling silver, bronze 3,9 x 6,7 cm / 4,6 x 4,6 x 1,0 cm


Canvas II (2015)

Horn, sterling silver, bronze 3,9 x 5,1 x 0,5 cm

Canvas (2015)

Mammoth ivory, coral, nacre, horn, sterling silver, bronze

3,9 x 5,2 x 0,3 cm

Boxes II (2015)

Mammoth ivory, horn, sterling silver, bronze

1,4 x 8,1 x 1,5 cm


High Expectations (2015)

Mammoth ivory, sterling silver, bronze, caoutchouc 5,4 x 4,5 cm


Shades of Grey (2015) Horn, sterling silver

Size 56 / 2,3 x 1,8 x 2,2 cm

Planetopia II (2015)

Horn, sterling silver, bronze 3,9 x 6,7 cm


Melt (2015)

Sterling silver, horn 6,7 x 3,4 cm

Tripoli (2015)

Sterling silver, horn Size 54 / 2,1 x 1,4 x 0,9 cm


High 5 (2015)

Sterling silver, horn, mammoth ivory 2,5 x 2,3 x 0,8 cm

Planetopia I (2015)

Horn, sterling silver, bronze 4,6 x 4,6 x 1,0 cm


Veines (2014)

Sterling silver, ancient berber pearl, driftwood, cotton thread 1,7 x 6,0 cm


Safari (2015)

Horn, sterling silver 1,6 x 7,1 cm

Montgolfière (2014) Sterling silver

Size 47 / 1,6 x 2,5 cm


Topless (2014)

Sterling silver, bronze Size 52 / 2,2 x 2,5 x 1,0 cm


Boxes II (2015)

Lunatic (2015)

Size 54 / 2,3 x 2,3 x 2,5

Size 53 / 2,6 x 1,1 cm

Mammoth ivory, horn, sterling silver, bronze

Sterling silver, bronze, mammoth ivory, nacre


Stuck (2015)

Iro (2015)

Size 53 / 2,2 x 2,0 x 1,2 cm

Size 56 / 2,4 x 2,8 x 0,6 cm

Sterling silver, mammoth ivory


Sterling silver, mammoth ivory

Bowl (2014)

Sterling silver, bronze, ebony 2,4 x 2,4 x 3,3 cm


Contemporary Jewellery

Vincent Chartier 07 82 50 13 34

& Delphine Noelke 07 81 57 09 94

w w w. z e s t c re a t i o n s . c o m

Follow our quest on t h e q u e s t f o r z e s t . t u m b l r. c o m

Contemporary Jewellery

w w w. z e s t c re a t i o n s . c o m Follow our quest on t h e q u e s t f o r z e s t . t u m b l r. c o m

Profile for Zest

Zest : AUTOR#14 exhibition catalogue  

This exhibition catalogue for the international contemporary jewelry fair AUTOR #14 showcases a selection of our work made in 2014 and 2015....

Zest : AUTOR#14 exhibition catalogue  

This exhibition catalogue for the international contemporary jewelry fair AUTOR #14 showcases a selection of our work made in 2014 and 2015....

Profile for dnoelke