Saturday, 27 August 2011

DISCOVERIES: Leo de Vroomen, modern jewellery couture

Last night was an absolute jewellery treat for me: I met Leo de Vroomen with Joanna Hardy!

Leo de Vroomen was born in Holland during the Second World War. After his apprenticeship in Le Hague and Switzerland he established his workshop and showroom in London in 1965. He is a master goldsmith in the Repousse technique so hard to find nowadays that consist of shaping the metal with a hammer a gives gold a beautiful texture and ancient looking finnish. What I found unique about Leo's work is that he applies the technique to contemporary design of the highest quality. His attention to detail and quality standards are close to an obsession, the pieces are not just beautiful in terms of proportion, shape and colour combination or quality of finnish, they are perfect engineering machines with all kind of cleverly hidden mechanisms that make them truly special to wear.

The creations are unique and bespoke in a haute couture fashion, as the entire process that takes place at his atelier in London. He would start with a gemstone and go over the design and drawing process for a particular piece with the client and the entire piece would be handcrafted at his workshop downstairs.