‘Cloelea Jewellery’ has a story hidden behind each creation.
All the pieces I design and handcraft are meaningful, they are like little messages. I like to create a dialogue between the maker and the wearer, and in turn between the wearer and the people around.
I use traditional silversmithing techniques to create contemporary statement rings, necklaces and earrings. Cloelea Jewellery pieces are sustainably produced using recycled precious metals (sterling silver, 9ct and 18 ct gold) and a variety of precious and semi-precious stones (amongst my favourites: labradorite, opal, moonstone, amethyst, ruby…).
Because, for me, preciousness is a feeling rather than an object, I also like to use more unconventional materials, such as beautiful or interesting found objects (in particular rocks, drift wood, shells or ancient artefacts), as they are either a medium to express messages or they have acquired a symbolic value.
Through material exploration and experimentation, I try to capture the worn appearance but also precious nature of ancient artefacts. The textured effects are a reminiscence of the state of deterioration of archaeological objects dug up from the ground. I strive to bring out the preciousness of imperfections and the magic of small objects.
Guided by memories of my travels or quotes from books and poems I have read, I often explore themes such as concealment, scarification or intimacy to produce poetic pieces that are sensitive, ethereal and original.
The elegance of Art Nouveau designs, with its strong curved lines and obsession for myriad of wings, is another aspect of my work. I like to play with the space in between, with shadows and with the way the piece can envelop the body and become part of it.
My work has been showcased in exhibitions including the British Museum and the Royal Cornwall Museum. Each year, I take part in Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival, the UK’s largest artist open studio event. I am also a member of the Guild of Jewellery Designers.
Les créations de *Cloelea* sont des bijoux entièrement fait main et remplis d’histoires et d’émotions. Il y a toujours une histoire derrière un bijou!
Chaque pièce est réalisée à la main en utilisant les techniques traditionnelles de la joaillerie. Je travaille principalement l’argent et l’or et j’aime beaucoup utiliser les pierres précieuses. Il m’arrive aussi de travailler avec des matières que l’on ne s’attend pas à voir dans un bijou (caillou intéressant, coquillage, morceau de bois…) ; parce que pour moi ce n’est pas vraiment la matière utilisée qui rend l’objet précieux et unique, c’est la signification qu’il prend pour celui qui l’offre ou le porte.
Je modèle le métal telle une alchimiste pour créer des bijoux vibrant de poésie, puisant mon inspiration dans l’art, les collections archéologiques, et les divers pays où j’ai voyagé (Grèce, Thaïlande, Inde, Malaisie, Bornéo…). J’aime que mes créations aient une histoire à elles et j’aime aussi que cette histoire se transforme et change quand elles appartiennent à quelqu’un d’autre.
I am a French jewellery designer and maker. I started learning and making jewellery when I moved to England. My initial training in archaeology and my fascination for art and crafts has inspired me to learn about transforming metals and combining different materials to create little poetic keepsakes.
I am originally from the south of France, now living in Oxfordshire (UK). I have studied jewellery making and silversmithing at the Jewellery School in Birmingham (Birmingham City University). I also hold a Master in Art History and Archaeology from Sorbonne University in Paris and a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Birmingham, UK.
Originaire du sud de la France, j’habite maintenant en Angleterre, près d’Oxford. J’ai toujours été fascinée par l’art et l’artisanat. J’ai d’abord étudié l’histoire de l’art et l’archéologie à Paris (Master: Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) et en Angleterre (Doctorat: Birmingham University), avant de décider que ce que je voulais vraiment faire c’est de créer avec mes mains. J’ai alors décidé d’étudier la fabrication des bijoux à l’école de bijouterie de Birmingham.
Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival
Artist Profile: Chloe Romanos
From Archaeology to Jewellery Design
I am a French expatriate living in a tiny Oxfordshire stone cottage where I design and create jewellery from, using traditional silversmithing techniques. I like to sit at my workbench, surrounded by my tools, with music in the background, that is where my inspiration comes to life, in this little bubble. My creative process and design inspiration comes from all the different paths I took in my life.
As a child I wanted to be an archaeologist, discovering amazing forgotten treasures (like Indiana Jones!), and at the same time I was also dreaming of becoming an artist. I wanted to be able to express myself using other means than voice and words. I did not like to talk but I did feel like I had a lot I wanted to express.
I studied art history and archaeology in Paris, went to almost all the museums, learning about Renaissance, Art Nouveau, the Greek Bronze Age… While I was analysing in great details the texture of handmade pottery at the museum of Mycenae (cited in Homer’s poems), in Greece, it became a fascination for me to look at the worn, rough, pitted, crackled textured surfaces of ancient artefacts. The way time had transformed them into something very different was for me as much interesting and beautiful as the initial object. Whilst doing a PhD on travelling artisans, I realised that I wanted to learn an ancient craft: use similar techniques and tools, and actually experience what I had been studying.
When I discovered silversmithing I was mesmerised by the ‘magic’ of metal transformation, with almost endless possibilities. I studied silversmithing and jewellery making at the Jewellery School in Birmingham. Each learning step I took was a uncovering journey. I like the toughness of the material: you need to use some strength to work with it, and I also like that it is messy (like a child playing outside!), your hands are dirty, you end up with tools everywhere around your bench and silver or gold dust on your fingers. My formal training was short, I learnt the basic techniques and then I trained myself, with trial and error, practice and being a bit daring with my abilities and my design ideas. I wanted to be able to find my own style, that “voice” I was looking for.
Each creation of *Cloelea Jewellery* has a story behind it, from the winged creations inspired by French Art Nouveau to the textured effects I love to use, that are a reminiscence of the worn aspect of archaeological artefacts dug up from the ground. I also like to let my imagination be guided by memories of inspiring places I have visited or quotes from books and poems I have read.
Jewellery is a way to express feelings, emotions, words, thoughts to others, and also to create little heirlooms to cherish for years to come.
Thank you for visiting !