I thank all my clients, from the most modest to the most affluent, who have given me their confidence... and allowed to realize this story.
Afterwards Mathieu joined us in 2007. It must be said that with his brother Romain, they had spent their childhood in the workshop. Later after his studies, he often came to make jewelry as soon as he had a moment, he took a lot of fun and one day he asked me: "I would like to make jewelry, you? ". I was not opposed to it, he knew, but I explained to him the difficulties he might encounter, always compared, always the son of ... But he accepted the challenge. When I talked to Fred, he said very cleverly, "Why not, it's a good idea if he does not get into the box right now. He must go elsewhere first, in order to legitimate himself and not to come as the son of the patron ". He went to Lyon for a year in a company where he learned a lot. He then came back and I knew it could only work because he was born, grew up in the workshop. Previously working in teaching, he had already worked with us every Wednesday and soon joined the team. He never took anyone high, quite the contrary, he knew he had to be even more exemplary than any other person if he wanted to be taken seriously. He has ideas, is more and more creative and he puts a lot of energy to concretize his projects. He gives of his person, travels a lot, he does a really good job.
I fell into the studio when I was little. My first memories with my father are those where we were in the shop, Rue Tupinerie. I remember when I realized my first jewelry or when I played with the colored stones. There were also moments when my father let me grow with the precious stones in search of color harmonies for jewels.
But there are also the journeys that have marked me. With my father and my brother, we had a lot of barrage with a Volkswagen minibus in which we slept. It was a "roots" holiday, we stopped where we wanted and washed whenever we could. It was a huge chance because I learned a lot, it was another way to travel than to go to hotels where everything is clean and tidy, there it was necessary to manage with and in the nature. On a journey, my father always obliged us to visit churches and museums. Which did not interest us when we were small. And then after a while, it became natural to go and see the monuments all alone. Today, I would not imagine going to a foreign country without discovering its culture and heritage. Through these trips my mother and father were able to pass on their taste for historic buildings and teach me a different world view. They are also passionate about history and science, they are very pedagogues, they love to explain, to show things and especially to transmit a knowledge.
I particularly remember one of those moments of discovery that marked me, it was at a show "Maison et objet" in Paris. There was a metal sculpture whose surface was cracked, but we could see that it was the artist who had reproduced this effect. My father then explained to me: "You see, when you try to reproduce a break on metal, you never manage to pretend that it is natural because you reproduce it artificially." It is the same when you make a jewel, sometimes you have to let chance. If there is a beautiful break, it can give style, bear witness to the imprint of time. This natural defect must be left as it is unique and can not be reproduced by the hand of man.
Since I was a kid, I used to make jewelry to have fun in the studio while my father worked. But I never thought of doing my job, nor did anyone push me. And then we often want to make our own experiences, to find a way different from that of his parents. After my Bac, which I had in Montbrison, I did a master's degree in history then an anthropology degree at the university in order to become a professor. I took courses in Latin America that fascinated me, and that led me a little later to learn Portuguese, capoeira and to go several times to Brazil, a country I fell in love with. The university allowed me to acquire an open mind, to travel and to read a lot, which I did not necessarily do before. These years have given me the opportunity to go and spend a year in Italy, in Milan, to validate my master's degree. While I was preparing the National Education Competition, I started to work and went to teach French in Portugal. I then returned to France to work in a college with handicapped students. In hindsight, it would have bothered me not to make my own experiences, not to fumble. These have served me, I do not regret having tried anything else, I did not close any door.
Until 2006, I was just giving a helping hand to the workshop in parallel with my work, it pleased me to tinker, it was a simple hobby. But by dint of going there, I became aware of the pleasure I had of being in this environment and I decided to make it my job. I felt at ease in this creative environment where we combine both manual work and reflection on new projects that are similar to the challenges to be met. I then asked my father if I could work with him, his answer was: "You must start by working elsewhere to get recognition". So I went to work in a traditional workshop of chains and primers in Lyon, to train me, to discover other techniques and to gain more experience. I worked at the Verney Dray workshop to learn the basics of the trade. I started in September 2007, I stayed a year to integrate Tournaire. It took a lot of work, but it was a very rewarding experience.
I learned a lot from Verney Dray, and when I joined the Tournaire team, I started the workshop. I was fortunate to be trained by colleagues who gave me their little secrets, after I developed other techniques myself, with the experience I had gained. Little by little I came to the creation, along with appointments with customers, personalized orders and with word of mouth, I became known. From there, I began to create jewelry and I contributed to enrich the collections. And I ended up creating my first collection, , Lock and Love, in 2013. It was a special moment because it was the first complete collection in the history of Tournaire; Until this moment, models were created as they became a collection.
The idea came to me gradually, and I really started to develop the project in the summer of 2012, then the collection came out in spring 2013. I immediately believed in Lock and Love, had the support of everyone and I knew it had a strong symbolic meaning. To get out of this collection was quite intense, I tried to manage everything from creation to manufacturing, to marketing and sales. I realized it was a heavy workload but Lock and Love was an accomplishment and marked a turning point for me. This collection has helped me to pass the eyes of all to a status more official creator while I did not necessarily this image. I have gained credibility.
At the time of release, of course, I was afraid that the collection would not work, but I think my biggest fear was being compared to my father. I have a tremendous chance of being able to do the job I love, but being the "son of" is never simple. One is exposed to criticism, either what I do is too similar to my father's work, or my creations are too different from the Tournaire spirit. What satisfies me with Lock and Love is the difference compared to what my father does, while being connected by codes. There is the theme of architecture with the bridge, there are many symbolisms on which my father worked and which find themselves differently in my creations. I like to say that I place myself in the "different continuity" of my father's work.
Today, I continue to imagine models of jewelry, with among others My Little White Stone, the lonely missing Alchimie collection. It takes up the codes of the Maison Tournaire: the square, the triangle and the circle. And of course I continue the customized creations that the customers ask us. We have been organizing gemology workshops in Montbrison, Lyon and Paris for a few years to make our clients discover the vision of the stones of Maison Tournaire. We make small groups to manipulate the stones by the people who attend our animations and it is passionate to those who participate.
I have the chance to live by my passion, and I can practice it every day.
I often say, "It's not a job, it's a passion."