After a life of travel since childhood, studies in design and gemmology[i] and a busy career up to that point, Renata joined Joaillerie Leysen in 2011.
She has the heart and soul of an artist and brought with her a communicative passion for stones and the jewellery profession.
Five questions to … Renata Stinglhamber
No doubts! A pink diamond! It’s so rare and special to have such a beautiful stone in your hand that I feel really excited every time. Nature has created coloured diamonds, however improbable it may seem … You see so few of them that when you get the opportunity to handle one, it becomes a real source of inspiration and makes you really want to create something!
I like Art Deco style rings. I love the period for its architecture and its jewellery. I like the geometric aspects of the designs of the period. It was also a trend that gave jewellery a great deal of scope, with pieces that took up more space on women’s hands and bodies.
It’s still the movement that inspires me most in my designs. At the time, people worked a great deal with platinum, which is greyer than white gold, and with less sparkling stones. Today people are making jewellery with much more sparkle; it’s a reinterpretation of Art Deco!
I’m very difficult to please. There are very few films that excite me or make me cry. Last year I saw a film called Mommy by Xavier Dolan. It really affected me deep down, as both a mother and a woman. It talks about profound experiences that could happen to us in life and tackles them in a very positive way, with humour and at the same time a lot of sadness. I’ve never cried so much in my life over a film. I think I could see it again fifteen times…
In Italy, near Pisa, there’s a nature reserve known as the Cinque Terre. For me, it’s a little jewel on earth. It’s made up of five little villages clinging to the cliffs and overlooking the Mediterranean, with multi-coloured houses, sun, sea, smells, olive trees, lemon trees, etc. You reach them by train or on foot, there are no cars. It’s a very inspiring place where you can relax and enjoy the Italian atmosphere, la dolce vita... It’s the ideal place to unwind and have fun, I love it!
My aunt… she’s always been my “jewellery” aunt. She has a lot of jewellery, she loves it, and she was the one who inspired me to take up the profession.
One day, when I was about 10 years old, I took my brother’s marbles, broke them in two and made cabochons which I stuck on bolts pinched from my father’s garage, where he repaired old cars. I then went round the neighbours selling my creations. My aunt really fell for one of my rings and bought it from me. As she was a teacher, she took it to show her colleagues and pupils, who all thought it was wonderful… So it was her that encouraged me to go into jewellery. She took me into the great jewellery houses and asked the sales girls to take me round the workshops. And that’s where my passion for jewellery comes from.
[i] Karel de Grote-Hogeschool Antwerp / Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design London / GIA London