Â By Jacquie De Almeida
Bulgari and Damiani may be worlds away from George Brown College, but when it comes to design inspiration, the gap isn’t nearly so wide.
“When we saw the animal motifs and the audience reacted, that was shared inspiration,” Ken McGrath tells Jewellery Business, following the screening of a documentary on Italian jewellers he co-created.
“What seeing these designs will do is inspire students to go out and seek their dream.”
Bulgari and Damiani are just two of the jewellers featured in Masters of Dreams, a series of documentaries that offer a behind-the-scenes look at some of the biggest names in jewellery. The movie had its Toronto premiere at George Brown College earlier this month.
A who’s who of the city’s jewellery scene attended the screening, getting their chance to gain insight into how the films were made and access granted by 13 heavyweights that also included Chopard, Graff Diamonds, H. Stern, Stephen Webster, and Canada’s John Hardy.
Screenings have also been held at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., and New York University.
George Brown professor Martha Glenny says students can appreciate the level of craftsmanship and expertise required to work for a world-famous design house.
“A lot of students have the ambition to be there,” she says. “One of the things that is so wonderful about the world of jewellery is its diversity. There’s a place for so many of us.”
Fellow professor Lisanne Skeoch says the film highlighted the importance of understanding the relationship between design concept and fabrication. A 2-D sketch of a piece of jewellery may look like it is structurally sound, but that’s not always the case.
“One of the things I stress in class is that when you’re making a design, it has to be functional and wearable,” she says. “I remind my students how important it is to make models by hand. That way, they can see how things actually work, rather than just looking at it in 2-D. You learn so much from making models and seeing where the problems lie. It hones your skills.”