There’s one thing Montreal will never run out of (I’m knocking on wood 10 times): nice beautiful creative people, just like Alexandre Bergeron.
Alexandre is a jeweler and an actor – today we concentrate on the former – who I met through Naomie. Two years ago, she offered me earrings crafted by his skilled hands and, more recently, I modeled for his latest campaign. My collarbone, forehead and neck served as backdrops for his futuristic/cosmic/magical pieces. (You’ll understand when you see them.) That’s about when I became a groupie of him and his work.
Where does your love for jewelry come from?
I’ve always been attracted to jewels, my mom’s, my aunts’, my grandfather’s ring. I don’t know why, but they fascinated me. Especially the ones that you never take off, like wedding rings or special earrings. The constancy impressed me. I wandered how people didn’t get tired of wearing them. Those pieces must have been really important… It piqued my curiosity. I loved their stories and what they symbolized. I also really liked the sound of rings on glasses. (Laughs.)
How did you learn to make jewelry?
When I was a kid, my mom used to make beaded necklaces and that’s how I started, using her “gear”. I even sold some of them! A ten-year old businessman…
More seriously, in 2008, I went to the École de Joaillerie de Montréal which I completed with a couple of private courses to master some techniques that I was missing. Since then, I’ve been playing around! And when I don’t know how to make something, I do some research and, often, it leads me somewhere unexpected. That’s something I like a lot – not knowing what is the perfect path or the “right” way to do things.
What materials do you use?
In the last 10 years, I’ve worked a lot with chains, weaving and knitting them. Now, I mostly use silver and gems. Sometimes, I get the chance to work with gold, but only for tiny pieces or special orders – it’s so expensive. But I love it! If I could, I would use it all the time.
What inspires you?
Lots of things, mostly arts, especially sculpture and painting. Otherwise, dance, fashion and music.
People also inspire me enormously! I think about someone and I imagine a piece for him or her. Moreover, traveling always gives me a thousand ideas. That’s usually a good sign – my creativity is flowing and I instantly know that I’m at the right place.
Tell me about your latest collection.
It’s super different from everything that I’ve done so far. I went for much bigger pieces, different materials, pigments, glitters, many gems, Quebec crystals… I was deeply captivated by anything that looked “magical”. For example, that glow-in-the-dark ring makes me ecstatic like if I were a kid! It’s like Star Wars meets My Little Pony… Haha, well, in my head.
You’re also an actor. Do you feel like the two disciplines influence one another?
They’re distinct, but at the same time, they’re both part of me. So, consequently, they must influence one another. My first collection was composed with characters (a king, a queen and a prince) and their animals (a unicorn-cat, an elephant and “the mouse of the castle”). There’s something undeniably theatrical about it.
I also appreciate that one is very extroverted, done amongst people, and that the other one is lonely and introverted.
How would you define the role of jewelry?
I don’t think it serves a specific purpose. It depends on the piece and on the person who wears it. Sometimes, it can be strictly decorative and other times, it’s reminiscent of memories and symbols. Personally, I like it when it’s both! When it’s worn with a sentimental value and some swag… It makes us shine, which is not to be taken lightly!
Actually, these days – it could last for only two weeks, who knows – I’m in love with “too much”. Numerous rings, huge earrings, big chains, they’re so fun to play with! Beyonce, who literally sweats bling, Nina Simon and Bjork inspire me a lot. My current motto: more over less.
How would you compare the way men and women wear jewerly?
Men are way less daring than woman. As soon as it sticks out of the ring, it’s too funky and then it can only be worn by an extravagant guy. That’s so not true. If you want to wear it, just do it.
I find a guy who wears jewelry with confidence so manly and sexy. In defense of men, there’s probably not enough nice jewelry created for them. Funnily enough, I’m currently working on a unisex collection. I can’t wait to show it to you, it should be out soon!
Speaking of which, can you tell me about your future projects?
I have so many! (Laughs). I will open my eshop soon and I’m also dreaming of traveling with my pieces – have sales points abroad and a nice workshop in Iceland, where I can go spend my weekends.
All photos by Naomie Tremblay, unless indicated otherwise.