Romancing the stones: Anne-Eva Geffroy on Graff's latest jewels
by Harriet Mays Powell
Harriet Mays Powell catches up with Anne-Eva Geffroy, design director at celebrated jeweller Graff
After graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Anne-Eva Geffroy spent six years designing for a famous French jewellry house before moving London to join Graff as design director in 2010. She was instrumental in launching “Inspired by Cy Twombly,” the company’s new and ongoing collection of jewels inspired by the work of the American abstract expressionist artist.
How does abstract expressionism fit into the more classic feel of Graff designs?
It’s an exploration of a genre with which Laurence Graff, one of the world’s foremost collectors of modern art, has a close affinity. Twombly’s graffiti-like scribbles have been translated into seamless ribbons of diamonds and gemstones that are spontaneous and free-flowing – which was incredibly difficult to achieve. Mr Graff’s passion for modern art is a constant source of creativity. Sometimes we reference a specific artist and other times we interpret something in an artwork – a sense of movement or rhythm, perhaps – that has touched us in some way.
What will be added to the collection in 2019?
New interpretations of Twombly’s calligraphic paint strokes that play with the proportions of the loops to form sculptural ribbons of diamonds. We created some earrings set with swirls of rare yellow diamonds, and an incredible watch that illustrates the synergy between our jewellery and watch designs.
Besides art, what influences your creations?
I love to go for walks and immersing myself in nature. The natural world, together with architecture and music, are constant fuel for our imaginations.
Talk us through the design process
The stones are the stars of each creation. We don’t design a jewel and then find the stones – the gems dictate the designs, and the whole process is undertaken in-house. It always begins with a ash of inspiration, which we develop as pencil sketches. Next we translate our drawings into detailed gouaches, each of which is painted by hand. Once a design has been approved by Mr Graff it is sent to the workshop, where the process of crafting the jewel can begin.
How does 3D/CAD design fit with more traditional craftsmanship methods?
We use CAD technology to push the boundaries of what’s possible. It enables us to realise highly complex designs and refine them with absolute precision. It’s the perfect complement to our craftsmanship heritage.