Hans, You ask....
(3)Rene Lalique was arguably among one of the finest designers/
goldsmiths in the previous century.BUT, does anyone know if the man
left any as to his techniques or methods behind? Or did
they go to his grave? Cheers,Hans Meevis
I have to tell you that I am a great fan of Lalique and have
hungrily devoured everything I can find about him (particularly his
jewelry work). I was thrilled to go to the "Lalique's jewels"
exhibition at the Smithsonian a few years ago, and bought the
exhibition catalog. If you are a fan of Lalique's jewelry, it's a
must -- the photos are exquisite, the articles are interesting and
Sigrid Barten, writing in the article "Materials and Techniques in
the Jewelry of Rene Lalique" (an interesting article) says:
"The only known comments by Lalique himself on the techniques used
in creating his jewelry are the notes which accompanied his working
drawings. These instructions to his colleagues at the studio
contained details of the thickness of the gold foil and of how it was
to be worked, details of the precious and semiprecious stones and how
to cut them, and of the type of pearls to be used Here and there we
find the name of a client, a date, or even the name of an
outsidecraftsman. The frequently quoted history of French 19th
century jewelry by Henri Vever is useful as a secondary reference."
The drawings and notebooks Barten refers to were, in part, displayed
at the exhibition and were at least as intriguing as the jewelry
itself. No work was produced from his studio without extensive
preparatory drawings, leading up to a full-scale rendering, usually
in color. Notes are scribbled all over the papers as to how many to
produce, what materials to use, whether to vary the motif, and
sometimes commenting on the "rhythm" of the pattern. I have NOT
found a published "Lalique's Notebooks" -- if any of you have, please
let me know!
The Exhibition catalog "The Jewels of Lalique" was published by
Flammarion, Paris ( http://www.flammarion.com ), 1998. It is likely
still available through the Smithsonian Institution's bookstore in
Washington, D.C. or directly from the publisher.