How to join the Jewellery design world? |with Diaset, a Diamond setter for Cartier, Chanel

I believe meeting people enrich ourselves from their experiences.
I will interview designers and other great people from the creative industry and share with you guys. I am pleased today to interview Diaset. A Diamond setter who has 15 years of experience in Fine Jewellery. You can find his exclusive work at Cartier, Chanel, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels…


How to join the Jewellery design world?

When you meet Diaset the first time, you would see someone who is naturally reserved. But when you know him more and see all the things he has achieved, you would be surprised to see how much energy he has inside to succeed in his projects. If there is one thing I have learned from him is “Believe in yourself, and make things happen.”

He accepted to open us the doors of Fine jewelry.
So here we go for this rare interview!


Can you tell us about you?

My name is Diaset, I’m 36 years old and I live in Paris. I am a Diamond and gem setter for Haute Joaillerie (Fine Jewellery) for high brands located at Place Vendôme.

Van Cleef and Arpels - Koi-Design
Van Cleef & Arpels – Koi


What is it Place Vendôme about?

Place Vendôme is where the most prestigious French brands of Fine jewelry are located such as Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Boucheron, Mellerio, Charmer…

There is an iconic column made of lead – which Napoleon Bonaparte ordered to use cannonball to conceive it. We call it now the Column of Place Vendôme.

Place Vendome - Haute joaillerie - Paris
Place Vendôme – Paris


How did you discover Jewelry?

I discovered this world from my childhood since my father is a creative jeweler. I remember seeing him conceiving the jewels at home. I was so fascinated! That definitely influenced my choice of career.

Van Cleef and Arpels - Koi Serti
Van Cleef & Arpels – Koi


What steps did you take to reach where you are?

Actually, my father dissuaded me to take this path. So I choose the path of watchmaking, like how my grandfather did. However, I didn’t really enjoy it much. I realized I missed something: the artistic side.

My father saw how eager I was to join Art and crafts. So he advised me to learn about Gem setting at l’Ecole du Louvre. To enroll, I had to find an apprenticeship master – but it was difficult as the domain is very exclusive. Some more, I was late. So I had to wait for the next start of the school year.

Van Cleef and Arpels - Koi
Van Cleef & Arpels – Koi – Diaset took 6 weeks of Diamond and gem setting

Meanwhile, my father was following training about Hand engraving (Graveur main) at work. Every day, as soon as he came back home from his workshop, he taught me what he has just learned. Hand engraving is closed to gem settings as they both use the same tools.

After 6 months of hand engraving from home with my father, I decided to pass the exam as an independent candidate. Even though regular training last 3 years, I passed it with success!


Do you have an innate talent?

I don’t think so. I was lucky to be well oriented, and when I begin something, I am stubborn and tenacious.


Did you pursue your studies at school?

Yes, I found an apprenticeship master.


Why your father didn’t want you to be in the art & craft?

He said it was tough. We have to sacrifice a lot ourselves – that I rather find a comfortable job office. What he said makes sense because of only the most passionate stay in the course.

Van Cleef and Arpels - Disney Castle inspired - Illustration
Van Cleef & Arpels – Disney castle


What do you like the most in the diamond setting?

Handwork.

I find satisfaction in bringing things to life with my own hands.
I also like sharing with my colleagues and also seniors who have more experience. One learns from every day from experience. We all have our own way of working. After years of experience, I can guess the personality of someone just by looking at his work – The way he proceeds tells a lot about his personality.


One thing you hate

Industrialization.


Is art & craft threatened?

For example, 3D printing has hurt a lot the profession where companies are looking for gaining higher profits. Only the Gem setting remains safe.

Van Cleef and Arpels- Disney Castle inspired - Jewel
Van Cleef & Arpels – Disney castle

Diaset took 3 weeks of Diamond and gem setting


Do you recommend young people to pursue?

If they are passionate yes because the path is treacherous.


What advice would you give them?

Learn a maximum from the elders – and show your motivation!


Is there a lot of school in Jewelry?

Yes, pretty much in France.
The most famous are:

  • L’Ecole du Louvres,
  • l’Ecole Boulle
  • l’Ecole de joaillerie de Saint Amant
  • and Saumure.

L’Ecole du Louvre welcomes international students and l’Ecole de Saint Amand has a student exchange program with foreign schools.


How about jewelry schools abroad?

Yes. They focus more on Design. While in France, the focus is more on the technical aspect and the Excellency of the gesture. France has a high reputation for making excellent pieces of jewelry. Like patisserie, we have our own identity, and we are well known for our ways of doing things. It’s not easy to explain as it’s technical, and every country has its own method – but France has the specificity of highly caring about details that others don’t do. This is where come from our reputation.

Cartier- Panthere

Cartier – Panther – From wax model to reality


What are the professions in jewelry design?

  • Designer
  • Model maker
  • Jeweler
  • Gem setter
  • Polisher
  • Diamond cutter
  • The art foundry
  • Gemmologue
  • and now 3D modeler.

This is all the profession of Fine jewelry on the conception side. Below a few pictures on some of these professions at Van Cleef & Arpels.

Van Cleef and Arpels - PolisherVan Cleef & Arpels – Polishing

Van Cleef & Arpels - Diamond cutter

Van Cleef & Arpels – Diamond cutter

Van Cleef & Arpels - Lapidaire a
Van Cleef & Arpels - Lapidaire
Van Cleef & Arpels – Lapidary

Van Cleef & Arpels - Art foundry
Van Cleef & Arpels – Art foundry

Van Cleef and Arpels Model maker
Van Cleef & Arpels – Model making


Tell us more about the jewelry designer

I am not myself Jewellery designer, but I work with them. This is where all begin. It’s an essential step of Fine Jewellery. The designer has the responsibility of bringing his own universe on his creation and make sure the client will be hooked.

Besides creation, he follows every step of the making process. He needs to be creative while making sure to be technically feasible.


Do designers work 100% creative free or do they have a brief?

I met some designers who told me they work with a lot of constraints. Such as working on a collection without modifying much of the elements.

Van Cleef & Arpels - Jewel
Van Cleef & Arpels – From paper to reality


Should a designer create his own collection?

Yes if he wants freedom.
That could be recommended when he starts.


How does he build his team?

His team?

Yes, I guess he needs to build a team to make his creation.

You can outsource. It’s essential to look for people who are good.


So, it is still possible to succeed as an independent?

Yes of course.

Chanel Lion
Chanel – Lion (6 weeks of Diamond and gem setting from Diaset and the team)


Any advice for whom want to begin?

Follow what you like the most. There is too many people who choose safe jobs and end not happy. As long as you know what you want, you rather fight and give yourself over completely.


Is it ok to start in our 20’s or 30’s?

A lot of people are in that case. We may have a “manual” profile, but because of our society, we end realizing it late. So it’s fine. You have to consider your working life balance.

I met a lot of people who convert themselves at 30 or 40 years old to Fine jewelry because they realized they were not happy with there career. They preferred to work with there hands.
You only live once.


Any future projects?

I dream of opening a school of Fine Jewellery abroad – and I am working on making it a reality.


Thank you Diaset!

I met Diaset when he was a student at l’Ecole du Louvres and when I was myself a student in my design school at Creapole-ESDI. I was amazed looking at his work made of wax. And now he’s working for the most prestigious brands in the world of fine jewelry.

What I am pretty sensitive about Diaset’s story is he never gives up. His path was treacherous at times, with a lot of incertitudes. But he always comes back and keeps going.

Where does he find so much energy? I guess from his passion and high determination. He doesn’t wait for people to tell him what to do. He provokes things to make them happen.

It’s great to keep in touch with friends after years. We never know. I am pleased and honored that Diaset asked me to join him for the Fine jewelry school opening.

If you have any questions to Diaset, feel free to leave a comment.

BONUS:
A video interview of a designer from Van Cleef & Arpels

”Here we have our own style.”

Van Cleef Arpels
Chanel
Cartier
Boucheron

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About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

8 Comments

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  • Ilaria Jve

    Reply Reply July 10, 2017

    Hi I am a jewelry sculptor, I have some problems with viewing in assonometry when designing a jewels, can you help me? thank you 🙂

  • Nathan

    Reply Reply June 29, 2017

    Great interview …. would love to connect with this setter . I’m in a similar situation and would love a conversation with someone like him..

  • Nichols

    Reply Reply October 11, 2016

    How can I get in contact with this setter

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply October 11, 2016

      Hello Nichols,

      I have just send you an email about it 🙂

  • Bonnie Vlášková

    Reply Reply August 27, 2015

    I have Van cleef & Arpels perfume, smells like godess, i didnt knew, that they are making jewellery.

    Nice article, thanks 🙂

    • Chou-Tac

      Reply Reply August 27, 2015

      Thanks Bonnie ! I am pretty sure you feel great when you wear the perfume 🙂

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