Meet CSM graduate and Jewellery Designer Constance Maure
We spoke to CSM graduate and Anderson Bank Prize 2022 winner Constance Maure about her journey in the jewelry industry and her plans for the upcoming France-based Alumni Association.
Tell us about your time studying Jewellery Design at CSM (Central Saint Martins)
Studying at Central Saint Martins (CSM) was absolutely fantastic! I had a lot of freedom and felt as if anything was possible. I could feel the creative vibe, being surrounded by so many different courses, styles, cultures, and energies. It was very inspiring and fulfilling. Also, studying jewellery felt even more special, and I completely fell in love with working with metal. The workshops were extraordinary and the technicians taught me a lot. We loved it so much that my classmates and I would sneak in at the weekends. The projects were interesting and always pushed us to be innovative. If only I could go back to being a first year, I would enjoy it, even more, today as my design skills have matured.
What are you working on now?
I am now working with Agnès b, an extraordinary woman and stylist who I admire both professionally and personally. She started her brand back in the 70s, dressing both the French youth as well as artists such as David Bowie and actors from movies like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. Her work is so vast; from selling flowers, CDs, and books and being a gallerist, to supporting young artists and designers, as well as launching a boat, which has united scientists and artists on research trips since the 70s. She works every day with passion and poetry. I am always fascinated to see how many ideas she expresses in one short session, and it feels like 24 hours a day are never enough for her.
Over the years, she has collected hundreds of small objects (minerals, shells, pebbles, broken glass, etc.) with the aim of turning them into unique jewellery pieces (as she says we all are very unique). When we first met, she showed me boxes and boxes filled with little penniless treasures that held so much value to her; much like a child - it was absolutely charming.
We don’t need to speak much to understand each other. In the mornings I find new objects or a handwritten note on my desk, and each day it comes with a surprise. I work at the bench, I look at each object and ask myself what piece of jewellery I can design to make it stand out the most (something I had not done in years, and I must say I had missed it !) The capsule collection is now in her flagship store, Rue du Jour in Paris, and will hopefully be sold in Japan as well this year.
Meeting someone as inspiring as Agnès is unbelievable luck in a designer's life and I will be forever grateful for the time spent with her.
Congratulations on winning the Anderson medal during your diploma at the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A). Can you tell us about it?
My quest is to produce better quality jewellery, so I left my job to study for a gemmology degree. I wanted to understand stones better in order to design fine jewellery, that would last way longer than its fashion counterparts. I studied at Gem-A in France and was deeply amazed by the logic and symmetry of gems. As I had left my job, I decided to study both levels of the degree simultaneously. It was truly intense, so I was very grateful to learn that I submitted the best paper in the world in 2022, and would be awarded the Anderson Bank Prize. It was so lovely to come back to London after all these Covid years to see my friends from CSM again, and of course, receive my medal (made by the crown of Great Britain’s medallist) at the Royal Institute.
What do you miss about your time at CSM?
CSM was a place of freedom, where anything was possible. I never felt judged and was taught to become my own critic, which is a great strength in a designer’s life. The best example was the crits where we would all share our work and give each other feedback.
I wish I could go back and have access to the amazing workshops where we had our own casting place, hammering room, and enameling room, with invaluable advice from technicians. And of course, the library was sensational. I feel very lucky and grateful for my time at CSM.
UAL is planning on setting up an Alumni Association for graduates based in France. How do you think creative alumni will benefit from this?
I got very excited when I heard about this project as there are many alumni living in France. It will be great to meet and exchange experiences and knowledge, about our trajectories and work opportunities. I hope we can recreate the vibe I felt when I was at CSM, where collaboration was so commonplace. I am excited to be a part of it.
If you are based in France and want to be invited to the first UAL French alumni meet-up, make sure you’re registered with us.