Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is French Canadian jewelry artist Matthieu Cheminee.
Please join us for this live interview and participate by logging onto the chat room or by sending a message to Whaley Studios via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
“I was born in Paris and at the age of 19 moved to Taos, New Mexico, where I started learning jewellery making from Navajo, Hopi and Zuni silversmiths. Seven years later I moved to Mali, West Africa where I studied with Touareg and Bambara jewellers for several years.
I then established myself in Montreal where I joined a jewellery school to learn a more classical view of the trade. Since my arrival there I have been making jewellery and selling it in galleries and shows throughout Canada and the United States. For the past seven years I have been teaching jewellery at a professional school.
For many years now, I have been working to give back to the West African jewellers who taught me and have given me so much. One of the ways I have been doing this is through a teaching collaboration. I have been filming old techniques in Guinea, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then creating a course from those videos. I offer these classes in Montreal and split the proceeds with the African jeweller. The revenue created by this equitable collaboration is leading to formidable changes in the lives of these wonderful and skilful jewellers.
I have also been giving many conferences on West African jewellers, their techniques and their day-to-day lives. My hope is to open a jewellery school in Guinea in the near future.”