As you might already know, we love handcrafted products. One of our absolute favorite brands in the genre is Vadi Jewels, created back in 2010 by Vadine Sister, an old friend of ours. She offers unique jewelry, 100% made in France. We have been working with her for years now, she has even made some exclusive creations for Bellerose, so it was about time that we had a chat about all things Vadi. Since her products are all made in her own workshop in Marseille, it seemed only logical to meet up with her there.
“Vadi Jewels has always existed in my heart”.
I’ve always been passionate about jewelry and I’ve wanted to do something with that passion since the age of 16. At the time I had another passion which absorbed me: contemporary dance. Jewelry came next to that. When I stopped dancing, I completely dedicated myself to jewelry, and that’s how Vadi Jewels was born. Even if I only put a name on it around then,it had always existed in my heart. To me, this project was something natural and obvious, something innate. Everything relates to jewelry in my life, it’s kind of an obsession. Everything I learned while dancing is useful for the creation of my jewels. Improvisation is also an important part of the process.
I am a self-taught artist, I started to tinker at the age of 16. I’ve always loved doing things by myself and hate when I’m told how to do things. It makes me feel trapped. I do gather information but like to do things my way. It’s an intuitive and spontaneous process.
There is a soul and a story behind what I create. What I mean is that, when creating a jewel, I tell myself a story, and then, by aging, this jewel tells the story of the people wearing it. I want my creations to talk straight to the heart and tell a story, but people create their own after that, and that’s what I love. That’s also why I like family jewelry and vintage objects: they do have a soul. There’s nothing like a jewel that has aged. Each piece is created to last and evolve with time, and that’s what make them special.
I find inspiration while traveling, but also in my everyday life. To be creative, I need to be connected and alert all the time, my creativity is constantly being fed. In every single thing I do. When traveling, I like to observe local techniques and craftmanship, and also the place jewelry takes in a certain culture. It opens up my field of vision and creation. This inspiration is translated in the colors and materials I use.
Growing up in Cassis and Marseille, in the South of France, definitely had its influence on what I create. To me, Marseille’s sun and light are an infinite source of inspiration,so are its sea, its rocks and those summer gri-gris that I’ve been wearing since I was little. The ones that you tie while making a wish.
To create the way I do, I need to feel good in my life. That means being in bloom, being in harmony. Thanks to that, my mind is free to create.
Most of the time, a creation comes to me as an instinctive urgency. Ideas and inspiration are always there. I feel a kind of urge to express myself. However, I’ve been recently trying to channel my energy in order to create collections that have a real consistency, with real stories.
Aesthetics are something very subjective. What I try to reach is balance and accuracy. You don’t need to meet everyone’s desires. The most important thing is being and staying yourself in your creations, because that’s the essence of jewelry. I try to assert my identity throughout the different collections, that’s kind of the governing principle.
Names and symbols.
I often name my jewels after countries, after travels that I make. As I said, traveling is a huge source of inspiration. India really left its mark on me and I can’t take it off my mind. But every single journey or trip that I do has an impact on me. I’m obsessed with voyaging, it’s a loophole.
For my creations’ names, I find inspiration in the different cultures that I’ve been exposed to, such as the names of gods, goddesses and cities. The name I choose must be in line with the style, because the jewel forms a whole with its name. For example, I am working on an Egyptian collection and one of the jewels is named “irt”. It’s an eye; the symbol of reunification and protection in ancient Egyptian civilization. Moreover, “irt” means “eye” in hieroglyphic writing’s transliteration.
Bringing a touch of femininity.
I believe a jewel brings a kind of punctuation to a woman, but also a touch of femininity. It strengthens her identity.
So, when it comes down to it, I hope my jewelry tells a story to a woman and brings her happiness.
Pictures by Cédric Aoudia
Words by Charlotte Tuts