From her small shop in the vast Clignancourt flea market in Paris, Silvie Corbelin sells extraordinary jewelry that she has created from the damaged, odd or incomplete bits of antique jewelry she scouts: an ancient Persian turquoise fashioned into an deco-ish gold ring with tiny rubies; a classical cameo entwined in a gold serpent; a “space voyage” ring: a chunk of meteorite and a diamond set in rough-hewn gold (all can be found in her websites virtual book). “I love to give unloved elements new life”, she told me the day a friend took me to see her work. Corbelin’s thoughts on jewelry making (and life) are as compelling as the pieces themselves.
“How did you get into doing this…where did you start?” I asked. She paused, searching her memory. “I don’t know where it started. My mind started building the forms. I see a stone, a sapphire, for example, and I have to make something. I start with the material, then I dream, imagine.“
When I told her I would come back one day when I was flush enough to buy a piece of her jewelry, her assistant was emphatic: “People think they need to own jewelry, that it has to be expensive, for status. But you can have the experience for free…”
I came away filled with pleasure at having seen Silvie’s jewelry and from her words I’d scribbled in a little notebook: “I like defects. Defects are like life. I think they are beautiful, like people; if they work on it, that defect can be beautiful, a gift.”
Boutique Paul Bert, 110 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint Ouen