Style

13 January 2024

Emmanuel Tarpin, jeweler of light and shade

The young French jeweler Emmanuel Tarpin has created a set of 7 jewels on the theme of the orchid. The flamboyance and strangeness of this flower are perfectly enhanced by a subtle treatment of light and shadow.

By Sandrine Merle.

 

 

Last December, Emmanuel Tarpin presented a set of 7 orchids to be worn as brooches or earrings at the Lévy Gorvy Dayan Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in New York. “They were exhibited among works by Pierre Soulages, which allowed me to start a conversation around the intensity of light,” explains the barely 30-year-old jeweler.

 

Variations on the orchid

Among the thousands of orchid species in existence, Emmanuel Tarpin has chosen the “Sabot de Vénus”, the butterfly-like “Psychopsis Tiger” with its trio of graceful antennae, the butterfly-like “Phalaenopsis”, the “Cattleya”, and the “Brassia Spider” with its long, spider-like petals. He has restored the vivacity of the petals’ colors. White is associated with barley-sugar pink or soft green, from red to yellow. He also conjured up an intense black.  “The depth of color would have been impossible to achieve with simple rhodium plating,” explains Emmanuel Tarpin, who worked at the workbench for four years after graduating from HEAD. “The best school for engaging in dialogue with craftsmen and experimentation”. For this collection, he carried out all the research with two Parisian entities capable of producing waxes by hand.

 

Magnificent chiaroscuro

For a natural look, everything is matte, with no mirror polish or dazzling pavé of precious stones. With the exception of the solitaire placed at the heart of each orchid: “Diamond, the stone with the highest refractive index, was a natural choice for this matte/glossy juxtaposition,” explains Emmanuel Tarpin. As a fan of charming stones and elongated shapes, he chose specimens cut in navette, marquise and pear shapes. Light bursts forth from the center of the orchid, reflecting off the slightest fold, the slightest curl of the sumptuous petals. Magnificent chiaroscuro effects, particularly on the Cattleya in silver with a black patina. And then in a softer version, the light also vibrates and glides over the velvety powdered ceramics and lacquer, which he is using for the first time in his work. He is a true sculptor.

 

Emmanuel Tarpin has not sought to echo the magnificent orchids of Tiffany & Co. or those of René Lalique, created over a century ago. That said, his jewels, all of which have been sold, are certainly worthy of the comparison.

 

Related article:

GemGenève: a springboard for young designers – The French Jewelry Post

Most popular articles

In Tokyo with Tomohiro Sadakiyo from the Hum brand

The Japanese aspect of Hum lies rather in the work on metal colors and textures. And its philosophy.

René Boivin and the mystery of the "Torque" bracelet

Thomas Torroni-Levene set out to recreate the Torque bracelet under conditions absolutely identical to those of the past.

In Japan, in the workshop of Shinji Nakaba

In 2023, the Loewe Foundation Craft prize brought Shinji Nakaba into the spotlight, but this self-taught jewelry designer had in fact been creating jewelry...

René Boivin's felines

From then until the company’s closure, the archives were populated by felines. It’s not just a coincidence.

Giorgio B. by Giorgio Bulgari, High Jewelry as heritage

Giorgio Bulgari signs his jewelry Giorgio B. because yes, he belongs to the Bulgari family, a house of Italian origin now owned by the LVMH group.

Anna Hu, the technical prowess of haute joaillerie made in France

The jewelry of designer Anna Hu is as beautiful as it is spectacular. It’s also highly technical…