Amsterdam Faces is all about connecting and highlighting emerging creatives on the scene. Those building their practice and exploring what it means to be within the creative sphere. And within a city known to be a creative hub of talent, we were spoilt for choice. For our latest edition of this series, we spoke with the artist, jewellery maker (and web designer), Eloïse Dieutegard. Dieutegard began her practice at Rietveld Academie making large installation pieces, and recently adjust her practice in the midst of the pandemic, finding her love of liquids and metals. Building on this initial spark, she has since created Melting Narratives; a conceptual jewellery brand which takes on the concept of accessorising deep into the realm of art.
Hey Eloise! As you know — big fan (and friend), I am wearing three of your rings right now! Can you give our audience a little insight into your creative practice and what you do?
I would describe my practice as multidisciplinary. On the one hand, I work on big-scale projects, mainly installations that require loads of time and research, but on the other, I have my jewellery practice.
Tell me more about the jewellery!
During the pandemic, I had to focus on something a bit more concrete… as I couldn’t do exhibitions (and I had no money to pay for a studio to work on big things in). So that’s how it all started really, making jewellery pieces at home. Whilst at school, I studied jewellery design, so I already had the tools and some basic skills and, of course, plenty of time to explore this more. After this period of exploration, I wanted to see if I could actually make a bit of money with it.
Your pieces call on the rawness and strength of the material themselves within the design. Has this always been an interest of yours?
Definitely. I would say that, for me, it is not so much about the jewellery in itself, but more about the making process and the direct contact with the material. I studied Audio-visual at the Rietveld Academie but got really interested in metal, fire and all the melting processes. The whole physics and process of transforming materials from melting, firing, and soldering… interested me. It has always been about the process more than the end product.
And what is the process of this; transitioning from the material – to the design?
Actually, in both my practices I really struggle to think about shapes. I like thinking about the material as if it is alive, forming itself liquid or solid, rusting melting or burning…
This is really interesting to me, particularly as the design is so strong. But maybe this is the key — working with the material to create the design, as opposed to the other way round.
Yeah, designing is quite a challenge for me to be honest. I like to research the specifies of a material and try to make it visible as alive as it can be…or something like that. I also don’t wear that much jewellery myself (only the ones made by a really good friend of mine Marguerite Bones who I graduated alongside). I also don’t consider myself close to the fashion world so I also don’t use this as inspiration. I think my way of working is also connected to my fine art practice; where work is composed of elements in transformation. Liquids are always present in my work, no matter what I am doing, so maybe that’s also a thing, I just love how it can be anything or nothing, but just represent aliveness. That’s what I like about making a ring or whatever silver piece I am working on, the whole process and journey of the material in all the phases and the actions of the elements on it. Maybe it’s a translation of my larger work, on a smaller scale.
Even though you say you are not closely connected to the fashion world — I think this evokes originality (which, in itself is intrinsically fashionable). Considering how much you have achieved already within your practice over such a short period of time, are there any goals that you have in mind for the future? Things that you would like to achieve?
I’d like to learn more technical skills. I miss my studio and doing residencies. Working with metal is such an old craft it is therefore an endless practice of learning. That’s why I love it. From bronze age techniques to crazy technologies, there are so many possibilities.
And how has Amsterdam or the Netherlands influenced your practice?
Mainly regarding my schooling. The Rietveld was pretty good at pushing my conceptual side, and I’m really greatful for that. Amsterdam is also where everything started for me, so I don’t know if it has directly influenced me — but it’s for sure part of me. I’ve also met amazing people and creatives here with so many different backgrounds, approaches and directions it’s really stimulating for sure.
What artists are you inspired by or look up to? Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Oh, to be honest, I haven’t really thought about that! But, on the spot, I would really like to work on the accessories for a fashion collection. Collaboration is quite a good challenge for me, and I’m always really enthusiastic about it. I’d like to work also on metal pieces, not per se wearable pieces, the crazier the more I like it ha-ha.
I feel like knowledge is at the forefront here. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far working as a young creative?
That it’s hard ha-ha!
I also know you’ve been doing a lot of coding, graphic design and web design recently.
Yes. I followed a course in coding and digital design (quite a different path!). But I like to have my mind and hands-on various stuff at the same time. I’m currently working on a few websites. I’m quite interested in language also; the whole structure and system of thinking…maybe it’s my geeky side again?
Blending between the physical and the digital, which is also nice, cause you said you’re inspired quite a lot by nature and the organic shaping of things.
In my work, I like to mix and let coexist electronic and organic things to create kinds of ecosystems. But I would say that it’s quite far from my metal/jewellery practice which is really raw and crafty.
Art can be seen as a universal language. What message would you like to spread through your work?
I don’t think I spread a message with my jewellery pieces, as I don’t see them as conceptual or meaningful objects. Maybe their organic aesthetic and their frozen liquidness could mean something to a body, I don’t know.
I believe the pieces are definitely meaningful — particularly to the wearer, the sentimentality of it. I mean, I wear my (your) medusa ring every day!